Banks could face even bigger bills for mis-selling Payment Protection Insurance after the City watchdog said it was considering new rules following a landmark legal decision.
In November last year, the Supreme Court said that Paragon Personal Finance, a secured loans company,
had breached the Consumer Credit Act by failing to disclose that the PPI premium paid by a customer included a hefty commission fee to a credit broker.
This means that even if the loan insurance was otherwise fairly sold, banks could be liable for mis-selling compensation if PPI was bought via a broker.
On Wednesday, the FCA said the judgement in the case, Plevin v Paragon Personal Finance,
may mean new rules on dealing with complaints, potentially opening the door for more compensation.
“The FCA is considering whether additional rules and/or guidance are required to deal with the impact of the Plevin decision on complaints about PPI,” it said.
“The FCA will be engaging with relevant stakeholders in the coming months in respect of this
and it expects to announce its views on this, including next steps, at the same time as existing work.”
The regulator is considering revamping the PPI rulebook, saying it wants to
“meet its objectives of securing appropriate protection for consumers and enhancing the integrity of the UK’s financial system”.
PPI ruling may trigger a landslide of fresh mis-selling claims
The City Watchdog could be forced to introduce new rules around PPI mis-selling complaints following a landmark court ruling.
It could open the door to a landslide of fresh claims for compensation, even for those who have already been paid out for being flogged the often useless and expensive insurance.
The latest wrinkle to the scandal – which has already cost Britain’s banks an estimated £24 billion – centres on commission payments to lenders and advisers.
In November, the Supreme Court ruled in the Plevin v Paragon case that failing to disclose commission made the relationship between lender and borrower unfair.
Susan Plevin, a 59-year old college lecturer, was charged £5,780 as an upfront PPI premium on a £39,870 loan.
But almost three-quarters – 71.8% – of the premium was commission, with credit broker LLP Processing receiving £1,870 and lender Paragon getting £2,280.
Plevin was not told about the commission and took proceedings against the two firms in 2009 for mis-selling because the policy was useless for her,
but also on the basis that the PPI agreement was unfair because of the non-disclosure of the commissions.
The Supreme Court’s Lord Sumption ruled that failing to disclose commissions led to a “sufficiently extreme inequality of knowledge and understanding”.