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Insurers to get guidelines for PPI complaints

The Association of British Insurers, the Financial Ombudsman Service and the FSA are working with insurers and other trade bodies to draw up guidance on the handling of payment protection insurance sales complaints.

The document, due in early 2009, will outline the processes that providers are expected to follow when dealing with complaints about the misselling of PPI, following a Competition Commission investigation.

ABI spokesman Jonathan French says: “We are working with the FSA, the FOS and other trade bodies to put the guidance on PPI sales complaint-handling together, with a view to having it in place in early 2009.”

Ombudsman Melissa Collett says the fact that joint guidance worked successfully in non-disclosure means it is now a model for resolving other disputes and contentious areas within the industry.

However, she says: “With PPI, there are a lot more providers involved so it is a bit more challenging perhaps. We have achieved a lot and I have high hopes for the future.”

January sees the first anniversary of the non-disclosure guidance paper, which Collett says has resulted in a fall in the number of complaints.

She says: “We have seen significant decline in the number of upheld rates after the guidance was introduced compared with their position before the guidance was introduced.”

However, Collett says there is still room for improvement, particularly over lifestyle underwriting and yes/no questions.

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