Figures released by The Financial Services Authority (FSA) have revealed Santander was the second most complained about lender in the second half of 2010. It was revealed that 165,000 complaints were lodged by customers many of whom were unhappy regarding the sale of controversial payment protection insurance policies. The FSA revealed that, in total, mis sold payment protection insurance complaints had surged by 63%. The figures are bad news for the Spanish lender who has often displayed a refreshing approach to the PPI battle.
In October 2010, Santander stood out alone in its decision not to support other banks in their demands for a judicial review of new FSA rules. The new rules were designed to protect customers from future PPI mis-sales, but most banks felt they would unfairly force them to examine old cases against new rules. A spokesman for Santander said at the time: 'We are not involved in the legal action being pursued by a number of UK banks with regards to Payment Protection Insurance (PPI). We will continue to deal with any issues our customers put to us regarding PPI in accordance with FSA rules.' This decision meant that Santander was one of the few banks that continued to investigate cases while the High Court’s decision was pending. In April 2011 the Court found in favor of the FSA leaving many banks with huge backlogs and proving Santander was right not to place complaints on hold.
It could be argued that Santander’s attitude is a result of the criticism it has already faced regarding the Payment protection scandal. In October 2008, Alliance and Leicester, a subsidary of Santander, was fined £7 million in the wake of the FSA’s investigation into mis-selling. The sum represented the single biggest fine and was a small indication of just how widespread the mis-selling issue was. The FSA found serious failings in the way Alliance and Leicester had sold Payment Protection policies in telephone sales between January 2005 and December 2007.
It is estimated that, including Alliance and Leicester sales, Santander has sold around 800,000 PPI policies. Unlike many other major lenders, it has not announced the allocation of funds to settle future claims, but it is understood it has already paid out around £200 million to customers.
PPI reclaim has become a huge headache for lenders not just affecting them in PR terms, but also hurting many financially with many reporting downturns in profit in the first quarter of this year directly connected with the financial drain of payment protection payouts. In the first quarter of the years, Santander reported their profits had fallen by 4.8%
It should be remember, though, that for many years PPI played a significant role in boosting the profits of these same lenders. The income generated by PPI is estimated to be in excess of £5.5 billion a year, in fact, this often makes the cover more profitable than the interest from the loans and credit cards it is sold with. Added to this the payout rate for complains against PPI policies is shockingly low. An investigation by The Competition Commission found that just 15% of customers who try and do so receive financial help – for Credit Card PPI the figure is just 11% This means that for every £1 spent on loan PPI lenders make £0.85 – that’s £0.89 for Credit Card PPI!
To make a claim for mis-sold payment protection insurance call us today on 0207 471 2000. We have already helped more than 60,000 customers and resolve many claims in only 8 weeks. There is no limit to how many claims you can make and you can even make a complaint if your loan or credit card has been paid off. If you are still unsure whether your policy was mis-sold take a look at our PPI check list. If you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions you may be entitled to thousands of pounds in compensation!
- Were you told you had to have PPI?
- Was the cover added without your knowledge?
- Did your lender fail to give you full information regarding the terms and conditions or costs of the policy?
- Did you have a pre-existing medical condition?
- Were you unemployed, self-employed, in full time education or retired?
- Did you have cover in place elsewhere or were you entitled to full sick pay from your employer?
- Were you a serving member of the armed forced or employed by the civil service?
- Were you told taking out PPI would secure the loan or improve the chances of it being approved?