Money is one thing that cannot be dispensed with today because of the difficulties, not to mention calamities that affect the ability of people to work and make money. Accidents may happen in a blink of an eye and it might serve as a stern test for you. This is where a payment protection insurance or PPI comes in. Numerous financial institutions provide PPI for everyone out there that has countless financial obligations. Failure to pay said obligations is tantamount to getting some dirt on their credit ratings and everyone knows how disappointing that could be.
What is the Purpose of PPI?
PPI is afforded for everyone who would want to secure themselves of paying their obligations on time. It serves as a coverage in the event that their client would fail to cope with their financial obligations because they might be experiencing financial struggles on their own – the falling of a business or becoming unemployed. It would be logical to say that when your business is going down or you are unemployed, you would find it hard to pay for the water bills, electricity bills and all other bills. However if you have a PPI you will not have that much of a problem because you would be covered as far as the payments are concerned.
Getting a PPI Loan: Requirements
As to the question on who is entitled to get a PPI loan, the answer is quite easy. As long as you can pay for the premiums and you can show them that you have a stable income or ample assets, whichever the case may be, you will have the chance of applying for a PPI loan at any time. If you are serious about applying for a PPI loan, you should prepare two valid IDs as well as a proof that you are residing at a particular address. These assure the financial company that you are who you are and that you can easily be found in case of any problem.
Choosing a PPI Loan
After you have gathered the necessary requirements, you should proceed in choosing the best PPI Loan plan that would best complement your needs. It is worthy to note that your income as well as your assets plays a big part in the application for a particular loan. Financial companies would carefully look at your ability to make money without disregarding your need for their assistance. If you have a huge salary, you can go for a PPI loan that is also huge. On the other hand, if you just have enough for you to get through the, you will not have that much options at your disposal.
These are the important things that you should know when you are in dire need of financial assistance. Remember that you should show them that you have what it takes to pay off the money or the insurance. Hard evidence would immediately convince the company that offers PPI loans so you should show whatever evidence you can produce so that your application may be accepted as soon as possible.
Numerous credit card companies that provide payment protection insurance have been in scrutiny in the recent years because of their inability to keep their end of the bargain. In addition to that, some of these companies overcharge premiums leading to the loss of clients. Trust is one thing that is really hard to repair. In this case, the clients who were overcharged and those who did not see the real purpose of the PPI’s have lost their loyalty on credit card companies that led to struggles.
What is a PPI?
A payment protection plan or a PPI is an insurance coverage that is often coupled with a loan, a mortgage, a credit/debit account that would serve as cover in case you will not be able to pay for the monthly dues or other payments due to unemployment, or any other reason that would hamper your ability to generate money. From this fact alone, people will be drawn to it because of the various benefits that it provides to PPI holders. The problem now is that there are some companies that offer PPIs that are wholly inoperative.
Complaining about Your PPI
In the event that you discover that you are a victim of the dastardly deeds of your chosen financial company, you should draft a formal complaint and submit it to the company. By this, your concern will be seriously considered by the company. On the other hand, if you choose not to submit a formal complaint regarding your concern, you could kiss your concerns goodbye because they will take you lightly in this case. Most financial companies out there take their clients for granted. Thus, by showing them of your intent to claim damages from their acts, they will act on it as soon as possible because these instances could either make or break the name of their company.
How Long You Should Wait for Their Response
More often than not, financial companies will carefully study your PPI with them upon receipt of your complaint. So you could expect at most a week for them to file their response. After that, the companies will inform you that you should give them at least a month to get things right.
In case you want to terminate the contract you have with them, you may do so by again, sending them a formal letter covering your concern. They would not want to lose a client so expect them to offer various plans and discounts on other services for you to stay with them.
Always Get an Update
In most cases, the companies that promise at least a month to get things right would ask for extensions due to reasons other than your own. So if you are that serious about getting the PPI back on track, you should always get an update. You might turn out to be an impatient client in their eyes but this would be the best way for you to protect your own interests and rights. By haggling them frequently, they will work faster to get their jobs done.
It is possible for one to make a PPI claim to a bank or investor if one had been affected by the irregular means of buying PPI from these institutions. About 2.5 million people were affected by this and now have claims that need to be paid by these lenders.
What is PPI?
PPI is Payment Protection Insurance. This is a type of insurance that is aimed at protecting repayments of a loan in case the borrower is no longer able to pay back the money because of unemployment, ailments, death or injuries.
The problem at hand regarding PPI
The problem at hand with this PPI is that many people were sold PPI wrongfully. There are pending insurance claims of up to £4.5 billion that the banks and creditors are yet to pay. These banks and creditors are yet to repay these claims that were incurred when individuals were wrongfully sold PPI claims when taking loans, credit cards and many other lending products for over ten years!
How the problem at hand arose
For a long time, banks and creditors sold PPI wrongfully without the knowledge of those buying it. This usually occurred when people were taking out mortgages and loans where they were sold PPI without the policyholder’s knowledge. It also happened in taking credit cards where the individual was sold PPI under the impression that it was one of the requirements for one to be able to get approval for a credit cards or even a loan. Moreover, these individuals did not know the full conditions and implications for taking out a PPI. On the internet, that is, online, people were presented with pre-checked boxes which meant that they were opting out of the policy instead of opting in.
These modes of selling PPI were ruled as irregular, unethical and unacceptable. This ruling further stated that banks and other creditors were required to repay money to those who had been mis-sold PPI.
Finding out whether you have been mis-sold PPI The first indicator of this, before you seek out an expert is to ensure that the loan, credit card, mortgage or lending product that has been taken out has been active in the last six years. The insurance claim, however, will be pegged on how long much the insurance was sold for and how long it had been sold for.
The next step is to seek expert advice from experts at a claims management company. These experts should be able to make a free assessment for the individual seeking to know whether they can make a claim. In addition to this, these experts should be able to work on a no-win no-fee basis so that the person seeking to make the claim has nothing to lose. What this means is that the individual is able to get services from these experts and that the experts only get a fee if the claims are genuine and are paid by the banks or creditors. The use of these management company experts is that they are not intimidated by banks and creditors which is unlike individuals who would be dismissed if they approach banks for their claims on their own.
Pension is simply a retirement plan that seeks to benefit you when you are well advanced in age and your productive years have passed you by. It aims to reduce dependency after retirement since it provides people with an income after they have stopped working.
In most cases, this amount is released after the age of 55 or after retirement. But this is not the case for some who feel that their contribution should be released earlier because of an urgent need, or in other cases, because they feel that their money could be put to better use rather than rotting in an institution.
Pension should only be released after retirement; however, an early pension release option is available upon reaching the age of 55 so long as your pension funds exceed 1,500 pounds.
Types of pensions
Pension plans are divided into three kinds
Employment based pension plan or the retirement pension plan
The disability pension plan and
The state and social pension plan.
The first pension plan is the employment plan which is also known as the retirement pension plan. This type of plan involves employer and employee who come together and agree to contribute a stipulated amount of money towards retirement as long as the employee is working.
The second type of plan is the disability pension plan. This type of plan caters to people with family members who have disabilities. Unlike the employment based pension plan, the disability plan is a bit flexible and can either be used as an early retirement or after attaining a particular age.
The third and the last type of pension is the state and social pension plan which is a pension plan by the government to cater to people for a particular purpose. This is a way in which the government derives income upon retirement.
Triggers of early pension
There are quite a number of reasons why one would decide to withdraw pension funds that they had otherwise planned to withdraw and enjoy after retirement. Such reasons include: death, terminal illness, and cases of redundancy at the place of work. Although these are reasons that would merit withdrawal of money from a pension scheme, it does not, however, stop the drastic decrease of the interest from your pension fund.
For this reason, it is advised that one should wait until retirement. Planning for your retirement should include the proper management of your finances. You should have savings to cater to emergency situations instead of cashing out your retirement funds which should otherwise be a last result.
Why you should not cash out your retirement funds
Before being bold enough to cash out on your retirement fund early, you should consider the benefits that are derived from waiting until the maturity date. You should also note that tapping your funds before maturity will result to paying huge amounts in taxes, and in some cases, you may be asked to pay huge amounts in penalties. So it is best to be safe and avoid an early release of pension funds.
A letter of deadlock is necessary in cases when you feel that your disputes have failed to reach a resolution. This usually occurs when the terms agreed upon have been breached and you feel they are liable for compensation.
Grounds that merit a letter of deadlock in Payment Protection Insurance (PPI)
Purchase of a PPI without full disclosure of the terms and conditions, you are legible to compensation on the grounds of a mis-sell.
If you have a medical condition and you are suffering from a particular ailment.
You are also eligible for compensation and can file a letter of deadlock if you are working in the public sector and you have irregular income, or receive a full sick pay and the insurance company rejects your PPI claim.
If you had been sold a policy that has already expired, you could have grounds for claim.
All the above reasons merit compensation and it is therefore in order to fill a letter of deadlock seeking compensation.
How to make claims
Before filling a letter of deadlock, you should first determine whether your case merits a refund. You should study the existing policy and establish if you can claim for a refund.
Establish how old the policy is and if it is expired. You should also recall the person who sold the policy to you and how it was sold to you.
If you feel you have grounds for a formal complaint, then you can go ahead and get a deadlock letter which you could then take to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Steps that will ensure you buy a good PPI
PPI policies come in different types and you should seek to get one that suits your needs. You should then read through the policy to avoid complaints in the future. In the policy, you should find the terms and conditions of the PPI, the benefits to be accrued from it, as well as the price. You should also ensure that the PPI includes details such as:
When the policy begins to operate and when claims can be made.
loan or debt payment period
details of accident covers
Any other specific qualification for one to be covered by the policy.
You should realize that other than PPI, there are other products that can protect you against losses and PPI may not necessarily be the best policy. If after a thorough evaluation you find that the PPI is not what you are looking for, then you can seek to find other protection products that can cover you against losses.
If after several premium payments, you discover that you would rather have another product or you just want to claim your money back, it is safe to know that insurance companies are liable to fully return your premium payments including interest made towards the policy taken. In the end, make sure you review carefully and select the protection product that works best for you so as to avoid disappointment in the future.
Who does it affect?
It has been said that Barclays Libor has not been that honest to clients. Everyone who has a mortgage or “sub-prime” loans is directly affected. A certain Ray Boulger, who is a mortgage broker of John Charcol, suggests that there are over 200,000 mortgages that have high interest rates – higher than the normal rates. Furthermore, individuals who’d opted for sub-prime loans before this financial fiasco paid high interests that were set by Libor.
More often than not, the interests on these kinds of mortgages are determined using a three-month formula created by Libor that sets +1.5%. After three months, the lenders will again change the interest rates. Libor would be the one to price the first months but somewhere in the stipulations, it would let Libor have the final say at the end of a certain term.
Do they overcharge every mortgage?
The answer as to the question if every mortgage is overpriced is not conclusive. This means that you may be overcharged but then again you may not be. At one point, almost all traders of Barclays did everything to raise the interest ceilings to generate more profit. On the other hand, when the financial calamity struck, Libor was forced to lower the rates. Having said this, it would be but logical to say that not everyone had to live with paying high interest rates.
When Libor is falling apart, will it affect people with small saving accounts?
Majority of the savings rates determined by societies dedicated for building and banks do not have much connection with Libor. Thus, those people who have small saving accounts are not affected. However, those institutions that save huge amounts of money in short periods are likely to pay interest rates that are somehow connected with Libor. Such deposits would have had lower interest rates as opposed to what they have earned.
Will money losers demand the money they paid?
Those people who lost fair amounts of money are likely to demand their money back. At this point, class suits are prepared against those banks that influenced Libor. This would come not as a surprise because the money losers here are huge, wealthy institutions and not those people who need to exert a lot of effort to make money and survive. Thus, these companies could fund legal actions with ease. Such cases will surely take years to give everyone their due though.
Where does that money from the £290m in fines go?
Sources say that the fines that were paid will go directly to the Financial Services Authority or FSA. A lot of people thought that the FSA is financed from taxes. They are wrong because banks and financial institutions’ levy is the one that finances the FSA. Additionally, they would pay for lower rates because of the existence of these fines.
In the modern world that people live in today, convenience is afforded to everyone who has knowledge in using the basic applications on the web. However, there are likewise risks and these are posed by the hackers and the identity thieves that are sitting at a corner and waiting for the perfect time to pounce on you.
As a credit card holder who loves to surf and shop on the web, you should’ve had a card protection plan to protect yourself from the hazards of the internet but that’s not always the case. There are times when the company that offers card protection plans would charge higher fees and rates without you even knowing. This would tantamount to cheating because the rates that you have agreed upon are not honoured.
In case you find that your credit/debit card company charges too much, you should seriously consider filing a reclaim against them. This will be the only recourse that you should do in the event of overcharging.
A lot of financing companies often commit the mistake of overcharging their clients. People and computers alike are prone to committing mistakes but mistakes are not the only reasons for these companies that overcharge you.
Sometimes, there are employees that deliberately overcharge clients especially those who are not honest. For you to reclaim the money you paid for that card protection plan that is wholly inoperative, you should consider these steps.
Talk with the Company’s Representative
Filing a suit is not always the best answer here because two parties that have contradicting claims can always first talk it out before going for legal recourse. Have a chat with the company’s representative – oftentimes, this will be the manager or the managing supervisor. Present your concerns politely and as respectfully as possible so as not to initiate any heated argument. In case things do not go as planned, you can always consider the next phase of this card protection plan reclaim article.
The next thing you should do is to seek for legal recourse. Lawyers are pretty good at these matters so it’s best that you look for the best lawyers in your area so as to have a good chance of winning the case. One tip though, you should be very honest to your lawyer. In other words, you should give every bit of information as to the card protection plan so that the lawyer may look for ways to get around it and tilt the case in your favour.
Tips to Avoid Card Protection Scams
When you apply for a credit/debit card, make sure that you thoroughly read the contract. More often than not, people fail to do this which is why the companies get the most out of their clients. In addition to that, you should know your rights as a client so that you can invoke it whenever you feel that you are at a disadvantage with the agreement.
When you make PPI claims without ascertaining their veracity, there is always the possibility that those claims will be rejected. It is important to understand that not all PPI packages were mis-sold. In some cases customers were duly notified about the insurance and they knew what they were getting into when purchasing their PPI. This will be reflected in the documentation or the bank records. You can use the services of the claims management companies although these are normally quite expensive. Since the process of filing PPI claims is really no rocket science it is important to read and understand some of the reasons why the PPI was mis-sold so that you can determine if your case qualifies for the same.
Reasons why PPI was mis-sold
There are several reasons which contributed to the mis-selling of the PPI that you can familiarize yourself with before making an application. This is particularly important at a time when some banks plan to begin penalizing customers who make false PPI claims due to the huge strain that it places on their operations. An often stated one is the fact that banks relied on brokers and over-enthusiastic sales staff who were keener on selling the PPI without verifying whether customer was really eligible for these programs. For example, it is believed sales staff, incentivized to sell as much as PPI as possible, conveniently hid some truth from borrowers. Some borrowers were led to believe that taking a PPI was a prerequisite for qualification for loans.
Some of the bank clients who bought PPI did not know it was optional. There were also instances where the PPI was added without the borrowers’ knowledge. If you believe you were a victim of any of these malpractices, then you automatically qualify for PPI compensation. But not all PPI claims will go through. Some banks are known for rejecting a large number of PPI claims but that is not the end of the road. When your claim is rejected by the bank, you can proceed to the Financial Ombudsman where you have a much higher success rate in getting you PPI claims upheld. The financial Ombudsman has approved over 80% of the submitted PPI claims.
Filing your claim with the Ombudsman
You can refer your claims with the Financial Ombudsman Service, FOS, if you feel the bank has unfairly dismissed your PPI compensation claims. The FOS is an independent dispute resolution service between financial institutions and customers. You can visit the FOS’ website and download documents such as template letter and complaint forms. You will also need to attach supporting documents which will help the FOS evaluate your case. You have to wait for some months as there is a huge backlog of cases being resolved by the Ombudsman. If an FOS case worker rejects your claims, you can make an appeal to be heard by any of the 41 Ombudsmen. This will again take several months. Other avenues that you can pursue if you feel your Ombudsman has not handled your claims fairly include going to the court.
The PPI Financial Ombudsman service handles complaints from the victims of the PPI mis-selling who feel their case has not been handled adequately or satisfactorily by their financial institutions. Customers pursue PPI compensation claims using two routes. Some opt to pursue on their own and save on the exorbitant fees charged by PPI claims management companies while others use the services of these very companies. Some of the borrowers might not have adequate information as to whether they were mis-sold the PPI.
There is a high likelihood that the commercial banks will reject as many PPI compensation claims as possible if there is no clear evidence that a mis-selling was done. That is why the Financial Ombudsman Service has set up a dedicated service to offer consumers a dispute resolution mechanism that they can pursue to ensure their claims are resolved satisfactorily. It is important to note that you only go to the PPI Financial Ombudsman service after a claim that you have filed with your bank has been rejected.
Resources offered by the PPI Financial Ombudsman Service
The PPI Financial Ombudsman Service incorporates a lot of useful information resources that will help you in filing your cases successfully with the various banks and other financial institutions that were involved in the PPI mis-selling such as building societies. For example, the Ombudsman service will provide contact details for all the major banks’ claims handling services. You will also get advice on how you can file your PPI claims.
Where your PPI compensation claims have been rejected by your bank for one reason another and you are not satisfied with the outcome, you can refer your claims case to the FOS for some adjudication. Your case will be assigned to a case worker who will analyze it to determine whether you are truly a victim of PPI mis-selling. Over 80% of the cases that have been referred to the Financial Ombudsman Services have been ruled in the borrower’s favor. So there is a good incentive to proceed with your claims process even after you have encountered some PPI claims rejection from your bank.
Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) Adjudication
The role of the FOS during this adjudication process is to determine whether there was a mis-selling of the PPI. If this is established, then we have a “slam dunk” case. Basically, the FOS will rule in your favor and the decision will be binding compelling your financial institution to disburse your PPI compensation funds. When the Ombudsman establishes that there was indeed no mis-selling and you are not entitled to any PPI compensation, then there is usually no easy option left for you to press forward with your PPI claims case. You can pursue options such as the courts or Ombudsman review of your case but these not only take time but will also place a huge strain on your financial resources. It may not make financial sense to spend a few thousand pounds in pursuit of a few thousand pounds with an uncertain outcome. You can visit http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/consumer/complaints.htm to learn more about FOS complaints process.
UK financial institutions face complaints for a number of reasons and consumers can easily raise these through the banks’ complaints and resolution centres. In more intractable cases, consumers can use the Financial Ombudsman Services. The year 2012 saw one of the largest numbers of complaints against banks with consumers, raising as much as 2.5 million complaints. Every 12 seconds, a complaint was lodged against some of Britain’s biggest banks like Lloyds, Barclays, Santander, HSBC and the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Types of Complaints raised against UK banks
Of course the biggest story of the year was the PPI mis-selling compensation claims where banks were literally bombarded with millions of claims letters. Most banks are working on overdrive to clear the massive backlog of claims letters on their desks. Even the Financial Ombudsman is not spared and the body plans to hire some 1000 additional staff this year to assist it in clearing the backlog of work.
Apart from the focus on PPI claims, customers also raised complaints about poor services and other insurance related problems. Most of the complaints were handled by the banks although the financial Ombudsman also handled a large number which passed through body’s dispute resolution procedures.
With some 70% of the complaints being upheld by the Ombudsman in 2012, it is clear that customers have a higher chance of solving their disputes with the banks via the body. According to the British Bankers Association, most of these complaints came from small number of customers and some of the big banks faced a larger number of complaints mostly due to their sheer size.
How to complain against a bank
There are very clear and well laid down procedures that you can use to make complaints against banks. You can institute your complaints with your respective bank because they are usually in the best position to advise you accordingly and expedite speedy resolution of problems. The banks usually have 8 days to look at your issue and come up with a satisfactory solution. The Ombudsman can make some phone calls and emails to ensure your complaints are resolved expeditiously.
Filing Complaints with the Ombudsman
If that period elapses and the bank offers you a resolution which you may consider unsatisfactory, you may then proceed to the Ombudsman which has instituted very clear dispute resolution procedures. Check out the Ombudsman website and download the Complaints forms. Ensure the form is duly signed and the relevant documents attached.
Filing Complaints directly with your bank
If you are planning to raise complaints directly with financial institution you can simply visit the website and get the contact information. You can then call them or drop an email outlining your complaint upon which the bank will raise a ticket and assign your issue to the relevant customer service staff. Some banks have online customer support or online complaints forms that you can conveniently download and return after filling in. You may also pay a visit to your nearest bank branches to pursue your bank complaints.