Millions could get new PPI payouts as court ruling on hidden fees could spark fresh claims – could you get one?

MILLIONS of people could be entitled to new payment protection insurance (PPI) payouts following a series of court rulings.

Legal experts say banks may face a second wave of compensation claims after courts found some products were "unfair" due to hidden commission fees.

The deadline to claim compensation for mis-sold PPI closed at the end of August last year, with banks having already forked out £38billion to 12 million customers.

At the time, banks had to refund commission above 50 per cent.

But The Sunday Times reports banks may face payout claims after recent court rulings ordered them to hand back more.

It means UK banks could end up forking out billions more pounds to customers affected by the PPI scandal.

What is payment protection insurance (PPI)?

HERE'S all you need to know about the mis-selling scandal.

PPI was an insurance policy attached to credit agreements such as loans, mortgages or credit cards.

The idea of these policies was to cover payments when a policyholder fell ill, had an accident or lost their job.

Sales of these policies were popular from the nineties and into the new millennium.

But then consumer groups started raising questions and a series of investigations revealed that lots of people had been sold policies when they shouldn't have been.

One problem was that sales staff were incentivised to sell PPI at all costs, meaning lots of people ended up being mis-sold to.

Some consumers had policies sold in the small print that they weren't aware of, others were sold insurance they would never be able to claim (for instance because they were self-employed or retired).

Sales of single-premium PPI policies were banned in 2009 and despite initial opposition, lenders were ordered to consider all PPI complaints in 2011.

As many as 64million PPI policies were sold, mostly between 1990 and 2010.

Experts told the publication that customers could be entitled to claim if they'd been previously been denied payments, received only partial refunds or never claimed for mis-sold PPI.

You won't be able to make a claim if you've already received a full refund from your PPI policy.

It comes after court rulings found some customers had been kept in the dark about commission fees paid to the banks by insurers.

In one example, store manager Karen Smith, 58, from Cornwall, successfully made a claim of £1,500 against NatWest because she hadn't realised she'd been paying commission.

She received a £530 refund from the lender.

In some of the most serious cases, commission was said to have made up more than 95 per cent of the policy’s cost.

For example, a customer successfully took Citibank to the High Court for £7,954 after they discovered that commission made up 95.2 per cent of her policy's cost.

Both NatWest and Citibank are appealing the decisions.

A NatWest spokesperson told The Sunday Times: "This case is the subject of an appeal and so it would not be appropriate to comment further."

As many as 64million PPI policies were sold, mostly between 1990 and 2010.

Martin Richardson, director of legal services at solicitors MoneyPlus legal, said: “This new wave of claims are worth billions of pounds which is why the banks are seemingly doing everything in their power to try and stop them.

“The banks appear to be using their fiscal power to defeat any attempt by the customers to bring valid claims and get back the money that was unfairly taken from them in the first place. 

“Across the country the banks are racking up massive legal bills defending claims  and  then appealing cases knowing the claimants can’t claim their legal costs back if their case started in the small claims court.”

We've contacted both NatWest and Citibank for comment.

Can I make a claim?

You could be entitled to claim if you've previously been denied payments, received only partial refunds or never claimed for mis-sold PPI.

Under guidelines set out by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), you'll need to check if your bank was paid a lot of commission and didn't tell you.

If this made up over half of the cost of the PPI, and this wasn’t made clear, then you may be entitled to some of this money back.

As the original PPI deadline has passed, you can't open a case with the FOS.

This means you'll have to go through a small claims court or hire a claims law firm, which you'll likely need to pay for.

If you hire a no-win, no fee law firm, you can expect legal fees to take some of your refund – so make sure you do your research first to establish how likely you are to win.

You shouldn't need your original documents to make a claim, as this is up to the bank to provide this information on request, MoneyPlus Legal told us.

If you've already received a full refund from your PPI policy, then you won't be able to claim any more money on top of this.

Mobile users could be due PPI-style compo payouts after being overcharged for phones.

Phone, pay-TV and broadband customers must now be warned when their contract is due to expire to stop rip-offs.

And if you're going away on holiday, here's how to avoid mobile roaming charges.

Source: Read Full Article