PPI has dominated headlines in recent years - but now a line is set to be drawn under the scandal after the City regulator announced a deadline for making complaints.
People have until August 29, 2019 at the latest to make their complaint, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said.
More than £26 billion has already been paid out since January 2011 as a result of the PPI scandal - and major banks have collectively set aside over £35 billion to pay PPI compensation.
So, if you’ve been meaning to check whether you’re entitled to make a claim, here’s a simple step-by-step guide to help:
:: Have a rummage through your drawers. Dust off any documents that may contain evidence that could back up your claim.
A PPI - or payment protection insurance - policy can cover someone’s loan repayments if they cannot work due to illness or a job loss.
But PPI was sometimes mis-sold alongside various types of loans and credit. It could have been tacked onto a credit card or a store card agreement you had, for example.
In some cases, PPI was added without people realising it, and in others, it was unsuitable, or the customer felt pressured into taking it.
Even if you can’t find much information about your policy, you can still make a claim.
But try to provide as much detail as you can to speed up your claim, such as your name, when and where you purchased the policy and what type of product it was that you took out, for example a credit card.
If you think you were mis-sold a policy, complain directly to the firm that sold you the PPI. You can do this yourself, for free, and there is plenty of help available online with making a claim. If you use a claims management firm, they can take a chunk, often around 25%, of any compensation payout.
MoneySavingExpert.com has a free PPI reclaiming tool at www.mse.me/PPI.
And consumer group Which? has help with reclaiming PPI at tiny.cc/WhichPPI.
Remember to tell the firm why you think you were mis-sold the policy and give them a chance to put the situation right.
The firm you have complained to should respond and you should also be paid promptly if they agrees it owes you compensation.
But if you aren’t happy with the response you get from the firm, you can take your complaint to the free Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). PPI is the most complained-about product the FOS has ever seen.
You’ll also need to give the FOS some details to help it understand what has happened.
Once the FOS has acknowledged receipt of your complaint, you don’t need to do anything else until you hear from it as it makes progress with your case.
But you should get in touch with it if your circumstances significantly change, for example, if you become seriously ill or move address.
More information on taking your complaint to the service is at www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.