In what may be regarded as an attempt to draw a line under the PPI mis-selling scandal, the FCA has proposed a two year cut-off for consumers to make new PPI mis-selling complaints against firms or to the Financial Ombudsman Service (the FOS). The FCA cannot set time limits for making a PPI claim in the courts, so consumers would still be able to bring claims before the courts in line with statutory limitation periods.
This proposal has been a long time coming. Since the Supreme Court judgment in Plevin v Paragon Personal Finance Ltd1, on which we reported2 shortly after it was handed down, the FCA has been considering how it can ensure that firms handle PPI mis-selling complaints in a fair and consistent approach, and how it can take action if it appears that a firm is not handling PPI mis-selling complaints appropriately.
Having gathered evidence and analysed its current approach, the FCA has published a consultation paper3 which contains a draft set of rules and guidance on the handling PPI mis-selling complaints. However, it is the two year cut-off that is sure to grab headlines. Under this proposal, consumers would be required to make a complaint within two years of the rule coming into force, or else lose their right to have the complaint assessed by the firm in question, or by the FOS.
The FCA expects to publish its final rules in 2016, which would mark the start of the two year period. Consumers would then have until 2018 to make complaints against firms or to the FOS. In the intervening period, the FCA would lead a communications campaign in order to raise awareness of the deadline. Assuming that the FCA’s proposals are adopted, it seems that PPI mis-selling is set to feature highly on the FCA’s agenda for a while yet.