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FOS questions need for PPI complaints deadline

FOS chief executive Natalie Ceeney
FOS chief executive Natalie Ceeney

The Financial Ombudsman Service has questioned the need for a deadline for consumers to bring complaints about payment protection insurance misselling, insisting current time limits are sufficient.

The FSA confirmed last month it is holding talks with banks over a possible time limit for consumers to bring PPI complaints, with the British Bankers’ Association pushing for a deadline of May 2014.

At a parliamentary commission on banking standards committee hearing on misselling last week, Lord McFall asked FOS chief executive Natalie Ceeney whether imposing such a deadline could cause consumer detriment.

Ceeney said: “One of the myths around at the moment is there are no time limits to bring a complaint, which of course there are. The current time limit is three years from the point you are individually aware there is a problem, or six years from the sale.

“One of the first questions that need to be asked is why are those current time limits inadequate? Bringing in a new time limit would suggest they are inadequate, but they seem to work for everything else.”

Ceeney added it would be a challenge for the FOS to comply with a time limit if one was introduced, as although many customers might be aware of the PPI issue generally they may not know whether they individually have a valid complaint.

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