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Nic Cicutti: Why Alan Lakey has got it wrong on PPI misselling

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Have you ever had one of those moments when you are watching a programme on the telly or reading a book, and a random comment takes you back to a real-life experience from many years earlier?

It happened to me recently, as I read my fellow columnist Alan Lakey’s latest tirade against the Financial Ombudsman Service, in which he accused the FOS of “waywardness and irrationality” in its decision-making.

Alan is well-known for his dislike of the FOS, which he repeats at regular intervals. Usually there is an underlying rationale for it: a report perhaps, or a court case featuring an FOS decision that he happens to disagree with.

Indeed, I well remember a case a few years ago in which an IFA took on the FOS and was lionised by Alan for doing so, only for the firm in question to be found by the Appeal Court to have engaged in some of the most appalling behaviour towards a consumer that I have ever come across.

But anyone reading Alan’s latest outburst would have found him or herself puzzled by absence of any coherent reason for it beyond the need for a dig at the so-called “mindless drift towards ‘consumer enfranchisement’ [which] continues unabated and is campaigned for relentlessly at Westminster, in the popular press and in a deluge of unbalanced television and radio programmes.”

Perhaps it was simply a case of “Grumpy Old Alan” deciding he wanted to have a pop at someone and the FOS was a convenient target for his ire. 

Still, I thought as I worked my way through his column, everyone has the right to voice an opinion, no matter how bizarre.

Until I came to the bit about the payment protection insurance misselling scandal, on which Alan offered up the following opinion: “The PPI affair is a prime example, where consumers have been led to believe the institutions are so inherently venal they are fair game for misclaiming.

“How many billions of unwarranted compensation have been paid out to consumers who knew what they were buying and may even have claimed on the plans?”

As I read his comments, suddenly I was taken back to an article I wrote for the Sunday Telegraph some 12 or 13 years ago, when PPI was on almost no-one’s agenda.

What I did was to carry out an experiment where I called more than a dozen banks and building societies and asked them for a loan of £5,000 over three years. Every monthly repayment quote I was given bar one simply included the cost of the PPI cover.

In effect, consumers were being led to believe the only way to obtain the loan they were after was to take out PPI at the same time. As I wrote at the time, in some cases, the cost of cover was greater when taken out from a bank than the interest paid on the loan itself.

Not only that, but the products themselves were appalling: most lenders were adding the full three-year cost of the cover to the loan at the outset, leaving customers to pay interest on the cover as well the sum borrowed.

Now, let’s say you are a punter who calls a bank and asks how much it will cost to borrow some money. You reckon yourself to be fairly canny, so you don’t immediately fall for the first quote you receive. In fact you call several lenders and compare numbers from all of them.

If all the figures you get involve a sum for PPI how will you be able to tell the difference between lenders? The answer is, of course, that you cannot.

And that is exactly how millions of consumers taking out loans in those years found themselves paying through the nose for cover they did not know they had bought and which, as a later survey by Citizens Advice found, failed to offer any protection when they needed to claim on it.

At this point you may well ask: why am I dragging up this old story all over again? Well, quite apart from the need to slap down Alan’s revisionist denial of misselling history, there is also the underlying issue of the FOS itself.

Alan sees the huge spike in claims over PPI over the last few years as a sign of consumerism gone mad. He blames it all on the FOS.

I see it totally differently: yes, undeniably, there were many people who claimed when they shouldn’t have. But the vast majority were helped by the FOS to receive the compensation they were entitled to, a task which it carries out to this day.

No organisation is perfect and I don’t for a second believe the FOS is either. Indeed, I have written critically about the service myself.

But in a straight choice between occasional misjudgments and errors from the FOS, in the context of an overwhelming success in delivering redress to millions and Alan’s attempts to rewrite the history of a shameful episode of misselling by the banks, I know which side I’m on.

Nic Cicutti can be contacted at nic@inspiredmoney.co.uk

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Comments

There are 28 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. good day for golf 15th August 2014 at 9:11 am

    I too have revised my thinking on the subject and fall in favour of Nic’s view of events.

    I am also thinking with regard to a claim made against me and that I need to let it go. Individually my actions were wrong regardless of the fact that ‘everyone was doing it’.

    Funnily enough, in future, I may well have no option but to take a sipp provider to FOS, I hope not, and reasonable behaviour will prevail- but we shall see.

    I must try to keep an open mind on these things and not get too screwed up about it.

  2. As usual Nic chooses to focus on one area and use it as the basis for a wider denigration.

    My point, which possibly I did not make clear enough, is that everybody with a PPI policy is urged to claim but not everybody with a PPI policy was mis-sold.

    I have never sold PPI plans so there is not personal agenda here. However, as often the case, the whole fiasco spreads over into other areas of protection such as IP and CI and these become tainted and derogated.

    The claims management industry well knows that most PPI sellers are sufficiently anxious to close the whole episode that they pay ‘compensation’ regardless of whether mis-selling has taken place and without any investigation.

    Thus the figures are skewed and the outcome is used by regulators and lazy journalists alike to make whatever political point suits their purpose that day.

    A bit like Nic, actually.

  3. Hahaha! Well said Alan!

    Having attended the meeting at Portcullis House with you on this very subject, I have to say I know exactly where you are coming from. Nice to see that you will be doing your Dr FOSgood surgeries too!!!

  4. From my perspective there is an important difference to the basis of the whole thing.
    I would like to see figures (if they are available – which I doubt) showing the complaints engendered by those consumers that were ‘sold’ a product against those who approached an adviser and asked for one.
    I know that the way I do business is not unique. I don’t ‘sell’ in the conventionally perceived way. Clients ask me for the product, whether protection, pension or investment. I charge fees across the board (even for protection). The fee is payable whether or not the client proceeds – they pay for the advice not the product. I will offer alternatives and make suggestions, but I never ‘sell’. What I do sell is my advice.
    I know that others do likewise and I do wonder if this model has fewer complaints and engagement therefore with FOS. I do wonder whether in this new RDR world this model will become more widespread and whether this will lead to less dissatisfaction from customers and less friction between advisers and the FOS.
    Indeed my own engagement with FOS is generally on behalf of my clients who have been shabbily treated by the Life Companies – and I have to say that I’m glad the FOS exists for without them there would be far more instances of life offices running roughshod over consumers.

  5. Having had clients openly admit they were claiming compensation, in their words because in the past ‘the banks have screwed us, so we’re screwing them back’. When pressed if they were miss-sold the payment protection they openly admitted they knew fine well they had bought the cover and thought it a good thing at the time. Of course the banks did exploit their exalted position in the marketplace under the watchful eye of the regulator of course and they deserve to be taken to task for their previous sins, However, this has been into a nice little earner for a lot of firms who set up separate arms just to persuade these miss-sold people they had been badly advised. Were they doing this out of the goodness of their little hearts? I don’t think so.
    Nic of course digs up the dead and buried to have a little pop at Alan when in reality he knows the whole ppi claims industry stinks to the high heaven. We even get firms writing to us using ‘date protection’ as their way in to demand access to files going back years. In every case so far there wasn’t even an ASU or Payment Protection policy sold. Clients who don’t have a clue about what they did previously but love the smell of greenbacks. This something for nothing culture is being driven by the likes of the FOS and the stupid banks and the rest of us have to defend ourselves from this whole pile of dung.
    Nic, whilst its fair game to pick fights with anybody its not right you use a photo that makes you look like a bag man. Get a shave you look a mess.

  6. Nic is ‘wrong’ here. I never encouraged PPI and in fact pursued successful claims against providers for a couple of clients for whom it was inappropriate well before the debacle hit.

    Most people would have liked the protection – if it was relevant to them and would have bought it. To suggest the vast majority of loan buyers was and is stupid and couldn’t tick a box to say ‘no’ is condescending. And no, we didn’t advise people on loans and never sold PPI and were flagging the problems of a universal policy which wouldn’t cover the self-employed, etc, etc but that’s not the point.

    Yes, PPI was blanket sold and with incentives to sellers to do so but some people (the majority, not the minority) benefited from the cover for their loans – whether it was the best, cheapest or whatever is a different matter.

    It has become a bandwagon and as Alan says, the vendors are paying-out regardless – to the cost of us all as far as the banks are concerned. The Claims Management industry has then fleeced the unstoppable bandwagon as they have seen it too – taking millions (billions) form the deserving beneficiaries who then became entitled to compensation.

    So Nic, should such an option to buy insurance against death, long-term sickness or unemployment be offered on loans and credit cards now as an option, as an appropriate insurance against mishap, or not? Not rammed-down everyone’s throat yes but isn’t it the ‘same’ as many forms of warranty, insurance, including life and PHI that he might have considered himself (even if I have always believed in ‘universal’ cover for a person/family and not just a ‘product’.)?

  7. Contractually anon 15th August 2014 at 10:24 am

    Where FOS has been inept, provide a link to the decision. They are all published and it makes for a far more informative discussion than ‘FOS are crap’.

    The PPI debacle would not have reached the current claims management firm generated giddy heights if a large proportion hadn’t been mis-sold in the first place and the banks had handled complaints properly in the first place.
    Some PPI was sold to people who probably needed the cover and in some cases, may have actually benefitted from it. However, generally speaking, most PPI was hugely expensive poor value product that was targeted at a proportion of the population that were less financially astute that the rest of us. PPI failings included, amongst others:
    PPI being sold without knowledge.
    PPI being sold as compulsory.
    PPI being sold to people who couldn’t claim on it.
    PPI being sold as good value but the consumer had no way of understanding what the actual cost of the PPI was relative to any benefit (and in a number of cases, the cost was far higher than any benefit that could be received).
    PPI being forced on people who were refinancing due to dire financial straits.

    Some customers and third party firms lie. Without a doubt, a higher proportion of people have complained and received refunds than the likely proportion of PPI that was mis-sold… however this situation would not have occurred had the banks not spent years dismissing out of hand genuine cases.

    Alan is right that the figures are skewed but not for necessarily for the right reasons. It’s also worth bearing in mind vast swathes of ‘upheld’ cases at FOS were not determined at FOS but because banks decided that it was cheaper and easier to uphold them rather than investigate them. I’ll let this forum ponder the rights and wrongs of the investigation not taking place before the case got to FOS and what this means for customers who give up before cases get to FOS.

    PPI was (and potentially could still be though it is late in the day) an area where the advisor community could have vocally lent its voice to consumer protection whilst also demonstrating the value of advice, by pitching vitriol in the right direction.
    Finally (and I’m just getting this off my chest after reading this on previous articles)I’d suggest anyone who refers to customer generically as lying, grasping or thieving as sometimes happens on this site should a) read some of the PPI sale and complaint handling final notices and b) consider if they should make their living from direct contact with customers.

    Apologies for the length of my diatribe, I’m off for a coffee and sit down where on reflection I may regret having put my head over the parapet.

  8. Here we go again. Yet another unprofessional and vindictive Cicutti tirade against Alan Lakey just because of a difference in perception. An article of this type, IMHO, discredits its writer more than it does its subject. The facts (as I see them) are:-

    1. Yes, a lot of PPI policies, but not all of them, were mis-sold to customers, for whom they were either unsuitable or unnecessary or which imposed an added expense without the customer having been made aware that they were an optional extra as opposed to a mandatory one. In many cases, such policies were set up without the customer even being aware s/he’d been sold them.

    2. The fatal mistake made by so many of the institutions that engaged in these activities was that they failed to create and/or maintain any written record of suitability. When the complaints started pouring in, they were largely indefensible.

    3. Set against this is the not inconsiderable number of cases (probably nobody knows just how many) on which customers who’d successfully claimed on their policies raised a complaint anyway and were awarded compensation. Such complaints are often aided and abetted by CMC’s who, apart from taking a sizeable slice of the compensation sum, have realised that, all too often, it’s less trouble for the mis-sellers to cough up rather than go through the rigmarole of trying to defend the sale. That’s calculated and deliberate fraud. A friend of mine (of whose behaviour I strongly disapprove), did exactly this.

    4. In many cases, anecdotally at least, the FOS imposes no burden of proof on the customer as to the veracity of their complaint. Can’t prove suitability? Must be unsuitable then. Complaint upheld, even though the product might well, actually, have been suitable. Admittedly, had a careful and thorough sale process been properly followed, the customer might have decided not to bother with the policy but, when it came to claiming, there can be little doubt that he was very glad to have had it. In fact, a successful claim on the policy surely proves that it was suitable (and very valuable), even though it may not have been sold entirely properly. Will we ever know (indeed, does Nic have any idea?) just how many people have received compensation on the (alleged) grounds of a mis-sale but have maintained their policy anyway and may yet claim successfully on it in the future?

    I’ve read Alan’s piece and nowhere in it does he blame the FOS for what has become an epidemic of complaining in the hope of getting some easy money. What he does write is “the main problems are arbitrary adjudications and final decisions that, despite the automatic rebuttals, seem slanted towards believing the complainant”. To my mind, that’s not an irrational tirade against the FOS. It merely echoes the opinion held by many of us out here in the field. Alan also goes on to write (slightly paraphrased) “Having a mechanism that satisfies consumers………..is the important thing. Ensuring that it is balanced and fair and follows the law appears to be of secondary importance”. Hear, hear.

    Nic is free to disagree with Alan’s opinion that the FOS does not function in a balanced and fair manner. But to (mis-)use his position as a platform from which to sling mud at him in such a nasty and personalised manner is neither professional or appropriate. As readers, our posts in response to what we read are subject to the imprimatur of the magazine’s moderator. This latest article by Nic is, I suggest, a prime example of how what he writes should also be subject to moderation.

  9. Christopher Mayes 15th August 2014 at 10:47 am

    As a small business I cannot help feeling that my opinion has less weight than those with the disposable income to lobby successfully, no matter how revered they are for being successful in historical terms, Banks have consistently, and more importantly continue to bring the entire Financial Services business into disrepute.

    Banks see all who deal with them as sheep, when they engage with them, they fleece them!

    The financial crisis has brought a welcome focus on the Bank’s reprehensible conduct, however, because they are essential to the smooth operation of business and markets they have been allowed to conduct themselves in a manner that mitigates the consequences of their actions, and spreads responsibility across an entire sector of business.

    I for one hope that we can stop arguing over the price of peas, agree on those who are responsible, and hold them personally accountable as we would be. A level playing field is overdue and the consideration and protection that Banks have enjoyed historically should be removed forthwith.

    Whilst tilting at windmill’s, please indulge me. No matter how laudable the cause the redirection of fines, contrary to the provisions made in the legislation and the reasonable expectations of those who are regulated, is an example of how the Bank’s conduct has been mitigated by politicians at the expense of the wider community.

    It must be August!

  10. There are two sides to every story, and it would appear to me that both Alan and Nic are right. There are many thousands of bogus claims for PPI mis-selling which have been paid out, including claims made by people who have actually been paid out following successful claims on their policies! But equally, Nic is right to point out that the tactic of capitalising PPI premiums (and including them as part of the “standard” quote) was rife among most (but not all) banks and building societies. I have no experience of dealing with the FOS so am not qualified to comment on their influence on the claims culture. But clearly there has been a sizeable minority of consumers who has deservedly received the protection afforded by the FOS. What I object to is our regulatory culture, which says if it wasn’t written down then it didn’t happen or wasn’t said. Suitability letters now are written simply to protect the adviser not the consumer. Bad advisers who write good letters escape censure whereas good advisers who have not fully documented excellent advice lose cases brought by consumers looking to benefit from the claims culture. What happened to caveat emptor? Yes, there are thousands of consumers who have been mis-sold to, but the focus on documentation when deciding the veracity of claims is disappointing. It simply adds to the costs of providing advice, so that the charges that all clients pay for advice are escalated by the many hours additional work required in order to construct meaningless suitability letters. The FSA and now FCA have built a labyrinthine regulatory framework that requires time and money to comply with, and one has to seriously question whether the impact of this is to cost every consumer far more money at the expense of protecting those consumers who are badly or wrongly advised. More regulation does not mean better regulation. More laws do not make a better society. Our regulatory system focusses on penalising bad advice, but surely it is bad products that are the bigger problem. If bad products did not exist and were not allowed to be sold then it would not be so easy for bad advice to be given. Focus on the bigger picture, stop bad products being marketed and put resources into policing the manufacturers.

  11. As with most situations where entrenched sides appear, there is merit in what Alan says as well as Nic. The Truth and facts lie somewhere in the middle as SHOULD the solution.

  12. “Where FOS has been inept, provide a link to the decision. They are all published and it makes for a far more informative discussion than ‘FOS are crap’. ”

    Very well said.

  13. Oh come on Julian!

    We are all big boys. If you stick your head above the parapet you should be prepared to have it shot off. You should be suave enough to realise that NIc is a campaigning journalist and it is his task to be polemic.

    I know from time to time both you and I have received a good kicking. Probably deserved.

    Unfortunately in Alan’s case he does rather set himself up as an Aunt Sally. I thought I was a bit of a Victor Meldrew, but Alan has me beaten hands down. Negativity does attract criticism – as we both well know.

  14. brian weatherley 15th August 2014 at 11:34 am

    So often PPI claims are nothing more than the financial equivalent of “whiplash” injuries.

    The public is not unaware and claim accordingly. Nevertheless, huge profits were made from the sale of PPI linked to a mortgage or loan.

    From my own experience, from the early 80s I acted on the principle that a linked sale of any form of protection plan as a condition of a loan/mortgage was not supported in law. When did that change?

    However, can anybody provide figures in respect of clients who actually benefitted from PPI insurance? Perhaps, more to the point do Banks wish to know what is likely to be a very low percentage and once again strips bare their profit motives.

  15. Don’t get stressed Alan. Nic may be a star turn for MM, but when his house burnt down and he received £395,000 for the rebuild plus contents, he was still bleating that his renewal premium was to go up £400 on the grounds that (his words) …”you can always trust the insurance industry eventually to try to claw its money back from the policyholders “. That’s right Nic, in 1000 years it will be square with you. I am very sorry for Nic’s misfortune here, but read his Telegraph article and it just reminds you of how so many consumers always have a glass half empty view of luck, griping about fine details rather than thinking that they were jolly thankful they remembered to get the insurance cover that has saved their lives.

    Nic may also may not be aware that many consumers also think it’s fair game to have a “carpet related incident” a few days before the annual renewal of their household insurance policy so that they get full “use” of the policy. These fraudsters, for that is what they are, won’t be contributing to the pool that bailed out Nic, so that that burden fell on fewer people than it should have. Maybe a rise in that sort of fraud also had an effect on the renewal premium? It seems to have done on mine.

    Two sides to every coin, and in order that the deserving get their claim, insurance-based or FOS based or whatever, it is vital that all cogs in the machine, beit FOS, FSCS, or provider claims mangement teams do their bit in keeping the resources available to the good guys and not wasted on the bad.

  16. Let’s have some clarity;

    1. Banks mis-sold millions of PPI policies but not all of them

    2. Single premium PPI was unjustifiable

    3. The FOS is not balanced or fair some of the time – but it should given there is no independent appeals process or right to a personal hearing

    4. Nic is paid to incite comment. MM acknowledges this and it gets them additional viewers and helps with advertising

    5. Nic is well known for his vindictiveness

  17. Hahaha! Well said Alan!

    Having attended the meeting at Portcullis House with you on this very subject, I have to say I know exactly where you are coming from. Nice to see that you will be doing your Dr FOSgood surgeries too!!!

  18. Should we recognise that there have been mistakes in financial services including systematic mis-selling of PPI – YES!

    As always I can see both sides and PPI is example of sales targets overruling what is good for the consumer particularly when some of the products in question had absolutely no benefit to the consumer. We as advisers cannot defend the indefensible and I suppose that is the crucial point here – if you look at the view points from the journalist and also Alan Lakey you can see strong opinion but not always the actual facts. Yes banks and other organisations did design systems that systematically mis-sold billions of PPI and in my opinion some bank directors should go to prison for that particular con on the consumers, but I can also understand why Alan gets upset when some advisers who did follow the rules are having bogus claims from unregulated claims management firms for sending out standard letters.

    The problem with Alan’s viewpoint he often gives the impression that the consumer is less than human and doesn’t have any rights and should be thankful that any financial organisation is going to deal with them. Now I know that in reality that is not true or I hope not but reading some of his articles over the period of time it certainly gives that impression. I actually have a new assistant fresh out of university and have asked her to read some of these articles and comments, it’s interesting to get her feedback as her perception of financial services from these comments is worrying.

    Yes we can argue endlessly about the rights and wrongs of the regulator and the ombudsman service but the fact is £20 billion worth of mis-selling should speak for itself. You would have thought that this particular financial scandal would have taught us some lessons but now the government is hellbent on creating guidance advice which in my view will create even more mis-selling scandals. We have learnt nothing in financial services from these mis-selling scandals and perception is everything and it is no wonder why consumers have such a low opinion of people working in financial services. It’s not what you say Alan it’s how you say it, in fact some of your viewpoints I agree with but I really do think you need to modify your language to engage more people.

    Long stop is a good example, I like many people working in financial services would support the view that there does need to be some statue of limitation, but often the comments from yourself centre around limiting customer complaints which comes across as trying to shaft the consumer and limit your liability.

    As to regards Nic, not everybody in financial services is the bad guy it is just that most people don’t listen to the good guys any longer!

  19. The FOS, based on the funding regime that it works within, is the easily the fairest route for all parties concerned. If, as Alan suggest, there should be the ability to refer to an independent review and a private hearing, how would this additional cost be funded and by whom. How many cases do we expect will not be referred to an independent review and how many advisers will not seek a private hearing? If after all that the decision still falls the side of the customer, will that then be accepted or will the “independence” of the review be questioned.

    The FOS attempts to provide a mechanism for complaints to be heard without having recourse to a civil action and the costs, for both sides, that this generates. I think the FOS does a great job in trying circumstances.

  20. @Bert Poppins

    So, you prefer a cheap and cheerful system to one where justice is more likely to be dispensed?

    How would you feel about a judicial system where a court finds you guilty of an imaginary crime yet your ability to appeal has been removed and for some crimes the death penalty is mandated?

  21. Lazio – Its ridiculous comments such as yours that take any meaningful and constructive conversation and turn it into a farce.

    How and why are you comparing FOS decisions to the death penalty?!

    Bert makes some interesting points that are worth discussing – Yes it is very likely that any decision made against an adviser or investor would be challenged in every case should it be allowed. Where does this process then end and who pays for it all?

    The FOS have been given the statutory powers to be the end of the process, there has to be some finality to every dispute otherwise they would continue indefinitely.

    Perhaps the most realistic solution would be to offer up some form of appeal process that would be taken through the courts at the advisor or investors expense. If your certain you have been wrongly dealt with – make it a civil matter.

  22. Can Nic please direct us to the first column he wrote about the dangers of bundling. He would have made his point much better if he had quoted a few other examples. PPI wasn’t the first and it won’t be the last, because the regulator simply doesn’t get it. Did anyone else out there get that mailing from Natwest about the credit card that did the ironing? Bundling in financial services happens on purpose: to confuse the customer. Did anyone ever know what the charge was for the term assurance built into an endowment policy? Did anyone care, when the tax breaks were so juicy? The FCA should be encouraged to do something useful for a change: ban bundling altogether.

    And Lakey’s language might be intemperate, but of course he has a perfectly valid point. Our society has been eroding the notion of personal responsibility ever since 1945. People are now positively encouraged to believe that if something has gone wrong, it must be someone else’s fault. The compensation culture is merely the latest flowering of this insidious trend.

  23. Dear Matthew

    I suspect you have not been on the receiving end of an FOS inequitable judgement or you would think differently and your perceptions are well intended but flawed? I say this, too, trying to take an impartial perspective of any particular cases.

    This may be where the adjudicator (or Ombudsman) has ‘given-up’ on reason and then wishes simply to conclude the case swiftly and makes a decision which does not demonstrate ‘The Reasonable Man’s’ conclusion.

    As a policy matter, for the industry I have tried to raise unsuccessfully the FOS’s standard 8%pa interest awards on all cases, where FOS cites the Law but despite the fact that innumerable law cases have now had judgements at say 2 or 3% and judges recognise 8% inequitably profits the complainant rather than compensates him. No one seems answerable.

  24. The most appropriate solution would be for complainants to deposit £50 to make a complaint with the sum being returned if successful

    This would remove the majority of opportunistic and vexatious complaints whilst not being so high that a genuine claimant would be put off.

    Of course, this does not fit in with the current consumer is always right ethos..

  25. FOS have had a torrid time with PPI having to deal with thousands of complaints and even receiving lists from the banks simply accepting the complaint having never investigated the complaint properly in the first place. In at least one case the bank was told by its compliance staff that they were not treating customers fairly or complying with the rules on assessing suitability or asking basic questions about eligibility but they decided to remove the objectors and carry on regardless. Adding the total price over the term to the loan then charging interest on it was an outrageous method of ripping off the customer and was eventually banned and rightly so. I am not sure that PPI misselling is the best example of trying to highlight issues at the FOS.

  26. For my sins i spent time in the bancassurance sector and you would not believe what some members of the general public expect banks to do for them. Personally i have taken cheques from an elderly lady that she received for making a PPI claim while at the same time complaining that she had a letter telling her that her PPI must cease as she had reached the maximum age. She couldn’t see the irony in the situation.

    Both Alan and Nic are right. Banks miss-sold PPI but not all of it. As some previous commentators have mentioned some less than honest practices have become perfectly acceptable i.e. insurance fraud. The public believes that these are victimless crimes and then can’t understand why premiums go up.

    I for one am all for a move back towards a more “buyer beware” system. Although i am not suggesting that providers do not have any responsibilities.

  27. Bundling is almost always bad. I would have more sympathy with Nic’s views if he had a history of attacking it. Perhaps he has. Have I missed something?

  28. Common on everyone, we all know that the majority of what Nic writes is nonsense and that he puts soundbites before common sense journalism but I for one love his articles and will continue to read them. Over the years I notice there has been a consistent trend of me agreeing with on average one in six of Nic’s articles (so that he doesn’t lose me all together). Nic is clearly a clever and articulate journalist, (the Red Top journalist if you will) for Money Marketing. Is there anyone else that provokes such passion and debate..? No. – I for one look forward to Nic’s next article although I am likely to be spitting feathers…

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