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ombudsman news

Q&As

featuring questions raised recently with our free, expert helpline for businesses and advice workers

You mentioned that you uphold fewer complaints about mortgage payment protection insurance (MPPI) than about other types of PPI. I'm a claims manager, and my client wants to complain about being mis-sold MPPI. I think she's got a really good case - but how can I convince the adjudicator?

First, take a look at our website. Our online PPI resource has a lot of guidance about how we investigate whether PPI and MPPI were mis-sold - including the factors we’ll consider and the evidence we’ll be looking for. Knowing what information we need to decide a MPPI complaint should help you clearly set out your client’s case.

Of course, you’ll need to make the case to the business involved before we can step in. Hopefully, given the opportunity, the business will give a satisfactory response to your client’s particular concerns. If not, it’s important to think hard about your client’s chance of success if you take things further.

If you do think we’ll see things differently to the business, then get in touch with us - making sure the complaint form and PPI questionnaire are fully completed, with as much input from your client as possible. Making general points and using information that isn’t relevant to the case will waste everyone’s time. The more specifically you set out your client’s concerns, the quicker we can get to the heart of what happened and sort things out fairly.

Finally, we’re working hard to reduce the time it takes us to give people an answer about their PPI complaints. So please be patient - and we’ll contact you as soon as we have news. Bear in mind that time spent dealing with regular update calls is time the adjudicator could be spending moving things forward.

I work in a consumer advice agency, and I’m trying to help someone who was sold MPPI back in 1999. He first had doubts about whether the policy was right for him in 2008. But it was only when a claims manager contacted him last month that he decided to complain. The broker who sold the policy says the complaint is outside your time limits. Is this right? Shouldn’t the broker pay out?

If we upheld the complaint, we might tell the broker to refund the premiums. But it isn’t clear from what you’ve said that the broker did anything wrong. We would need to know more about why the consumer thinks the policy isn’t suitable - as well as how it was sold. Only then could we make our decision.

Our time limits are set out in the Financial Conduct Authority’s complaints-handling (“DISP”) rules. A business can object to our looking at a complaint if it reaches us more than six years after the event the consumer is complaining about - or, if it’s been longer than that, more than three years after the consumer first knew (or could reasonably have known) that they had cause to complain.

In this case, it sounds like the broker could be right. The event the consumer is complaining about (the sale of the MPPI) happened more than six years ago - and it sounds like the consumer became aware of the problem more than three years ago. But in exceptional circumstances, we might say our normal time limits don’t apply - and that’s a decision for us, not the business, to make. If you want to talk things through, give our technical advice desk a call.

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ombudsman news gives general information on the position at the date of publication. It is not a definitive statement of the law, our approach or our procedure.

The illustrative case studies are based broadly on real-life cases, but are not precedents. Individual cases are decided on their own facts.