The Financial Services Authority (the FSA) has recently announced a temporary rule which will allow customers with complaints about the purchase of a payment protection insurance (PPI) policy more time within which to refer it to the Financial Ombudsman Service (the FOS). This temporary rule has been introduced without consultation. Please click here to review the FSA's press release.
Normally, under the FSA's rules, the FOS cannot consider a complaint referred to it more than six months after the date on which the firm sent the customer its final response to the complaint. However, the new temporary rule suspends this existing six month time limit. The temporary rule is contained in the Dispute Resolution: Complaints sourcebook and will be effective for five months (expiring on 27 October 2010). The temporary rule will apply to those customers who received a final response from a firm between 28 November 2009 and 28 April 2010.
The FSA has noted that this action has been taken to ensure that recent PPI complainants are not disadvantaged by a time bar while the FSA works to find a long term solution to ensure that customers of PPI policies are treated consistently and fairly when complaining about the sale of a PPI policy, or when buying a new one.