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FOS claiming 'no connection' between company which sold PPI and Chubb [against which I think complaint should be pursued]


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The Financial Ombudsman Service [FOS] has finally come back to me with its thoughts on a long-standing complaint about mis-sold PPI.

 

The policy was sold to me in April 1997, which, as I appreciate, is before policies became regulated by the FCA on January 14, 2005.

 

The policy was sold to me by Cofidis which at the time of the sale was not covered by any of the schemes which were applicable before the FCA regulated the sale of PPI policies so the FOS has asserted that my complaint cannot be pursued there.

 

However, I was already aware of this and my complaint to the FOS was not against Cofidis but the company that provided the cover for the PPI policy, Chubb European Group SE / ACE Insurance S.A. [‘Chubb’] which, at the time of the sale, was covered by one of the schemes that existed before 14.01.05.

 

The FOS acknowledges this but has said: “There does not appear to have been any direct connection between Cofidis and Chubb at the time of the sale. So the only way Chubb would be responsible is if we can establish that Cofidis was acting as an agent of Chubb when selling the PPI.”

 

It is the above with which I struggle to agree, but would appreciate the thoughts of those with more expertise than me in these matters.

 

Firstly, it seems to me there was a direct connection between Cofidis and Chubb. I have supplied the FOS with a copy of the original terms & conditions of the policy [attached here], which is titled ‘Cofidis Limited Protection Plan’ and refers throughout to Chubb. Moreover, it also states that should you wish to cancel the cover at any time you must do so not by writing directly to Chubb but to Cofidis.

 

This being the case, it seems clear to me that, contrary to the FOS’s assertion, there was ‘a direct connection between Cofidis and Chubb at the time of the sale’ and, what is more, it is entirely conceivable that there was an agency relationship between the two.

 

The FOS goes on to make the point that it contacted Chubb which advised that it ‘did not have an agency relationship with Cofidis’. Of course, they would say that wouldn’t they!

More to the point, when I complained to Chubb, contrary to what they subsequently told the FOS, they said: “Unfortunately, due to the passage of time we no longer hold any information to confirm the relationship between Cofidis Insurance and Chubb when the policy was sold.’

 

In these circumstances, it is my belief that as a member of the Association of British Insurers, Chubb had an obligation to act in accordance with ABI guidelines and take measures to ensure that any third party, such as Cofidis, selling PPI policies on its behalf did so in accordance with the industry codes of good practice.

 

Any thoughts gratefully received.

 

Thanks in anticipation
Fred Funk
 

Cofidis Limited Protection Plan-1-merged_compressed (1).pdf

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