The Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) new payment protection insurance (PPI) claims ads starring Arnold Schwarzenegger are proving a big hit with the public, the regulator says, as people flood its website and phone lines looking to make a claim.
Since the campaign started airing on TV at the end of August, more than 1.2 million people have been prodded by the action hero to see if they can claim for the mis-sold financial product. In September alone, the FCA fielded more than 9,400 calls from people asking about PPI claims, 94% of whom were satisfied with the information they received and how their potential case for a claim was handled, it said.
FCA staff also handled more than 1,500 web chat conversations with members of the public spurred by the Schwarzenegger ad to make a claim now. Additionally, over 400,000 people visited the PPI section of the FCA’s website in September, resulting in more than 1.2 million page views. The ad campaign also boosted interaction with the FCA on its social media channels, where over 4,000 comments were posted about making a PPI claim.
An end to PPI claims
After the FCA decided earlier this year to impose a deadline of August 2019 for claiming PPI, so that the entire debacle could finally be brought to an end, it devised a multimillion-pound ad campaign to alert the public about the cut-off period. The £42 million cost of the campaign, which includes online as well as TV ads and outdoor advertising, is being met by 18 banks and other financial firms that altogether dealt with over 100,000 PPI complaints from 2009 to 2015. This, the FCA says, represents more than 90% of all such complaints during that time.
Schwarzenegger was brought in — in animatronic form — to capture people’s attention and goad them into making a claim if they can. The Terminator star is seen as a mechanical head on tracks as he careens around a shop and roars at startled shoppers to “come on” and make a PPI claim before the 2019 deadline expires.
Since refunds and compensation for mis-sold PPI started being made in early 2011, a total of £27.9 billion has been paid out. Now with the high-profile ad campaign in progress and the FCA reporting high levels of public interest, financial institutions are bracing themselves for another wave of PPI claims. They have set aside billions more to cover future payouts.
PPI: making a case for a claim
After getting initial information or guidance from the FCA or related organisations, such as the Financial Ombudsman, some people go on to make their own claim. They can do this by contacting the bank or other financial institutions that sold them PPI alongside a financial product such as a loan, car financing or credit card.
Most people, however, use the services of a claims firm to do it for them.
The most effective of these companies typically use such tools as claim management software to speed up the process and get their clients refunds or compensation as quickly as possible. Not surprisingly, many people are put off by the often lengthy and complicated PPI claims procedure, if doing it themselves, and also don’t always have time to do it.
Claims firms offer a key service to those consumers, ensuring that everyone who has been mis-sold PPI has the opportunity to reclaim what is rightfully theirs.