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Swinton is told to refund 480,000 PPI policies

The FSA has fined high-street insurance broker Swinton Group £770,000 for serious failings in its advised sales of single-premium payment protection insurance.

The company has been told to refund over 480,000 PPI policies held by 350,000 customers.

The regulator found that between December 2006 and March 2008 the firm’s PPI sales process was flawed. PPI was automatically included in insurance quotes without first establishing that the customer had any real demand or need for the cover.

Swinton failed to make it clear that PPI was optional and did not properly disclose the cost of PPI at the point of sale.

The cost was bundled within the initial insurance quote and Swinton failed to disclose, before the sale completed, that the policy only cost £1.21. The remainder of the £15 or £20 charge was a fee taken by Swinton. Swinton has agreed to review previously rejected claims and pay compensation where appropriate.

It accrued around £7.8m from its PPI sales before the regulator forced it out of the PPI market in March 2008 when the failings came to light.

By settling at an early stage of the investigation, Swinton qualified for a 30 per cent reduction on the full fine, which would have been £1.1m.

FSA director of retail enforcement and financial crime Margaret Cole says: “These were deliberate breaches. Swinton was fully aware that it should establish a customer’s need for PPI before recommending it, yet nearly half a million policies were sold to customers who did not necessarily require them. Swinton’s PPI sales fell a long way short of our requirements and the firm clearly failed to treat customers fairly.”

In a statement, Swinton says: “Swinton takes the matter very seriously and will be contacting all customers concerned. The company apologises to any customer affected and has set up a dedicated unit to deal with the PPI cases.”


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There is one comment at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. This is all very well, but we are yet to see the big banks face penalties for their roles in the gross mis-selling of PPI.

    Take Firstplus Customers for example, 99% of insurance complaints going forward to the Financial Ombudsmen are being upheld in favour of the customer.

    99%!!! Why has the FSA or the OFT not stepped in?

    Bundled with the PPI, Firstplus customer are seeing interest rates increased to usury levels despite Bank of England Rates remaining static for some time now.

    Is the FSA to scared to take on the Big Banks? so instead fines the little ones, just so we all know they are doing something.

    I for one want to see justice, Banks like Barclays played a role in the current economic downfall, its time they are brought to task.

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