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Which? calls on FSA to step up PPI action

Which? wants the FSA to continue naming and shaming firms which breach the rules on payment protection insurance and says more action is needed to tackle problems in the sector.

The FSA said last week that it is not convinced the rules are protecting customers adequately and is looking at changing the existing rules or introducing new ones as part of its continuing work on PPI.

It is planning mystery shopping, follow-ups with firms found to have poor sales practices and visits to firms not yet contacted. This phase is due to be completed by June 2007.

Which? personal finance campaigner Pula Houghton says more action is needed and wants the FSA to continue naming firms that breach the rules.

Houghton says: “Which? has said for years that the PPI market offers poorly performing, complex, often inappropriate and poor value policies. It is simply not delivering adequate protection for consumers.

“Industry measures to give consumers more information will be too little, too late for many consumers and are no substitute for treating them fairly in the first instance.”

British Insurance Brokers’ Association chief executive Eric Galbraith says: “It is important that consumers realise that they do not have to take out PPI from the same place they get their loan from. There are competitively priced contracts, often with wider cover, available from the specialist insurance broker.”

FSA managing director of retail markets Clive Briault says: “Improving sales standards in the PPI market remains a key priority for us and we see it as an indicator of whether firms are treating customers fairly.

“Customers should come away from the sale having been given the best possible chance of understanding that PPI is almost always optional, what the policy will and will not cover and how much it costs..”

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