We won’t mention the ‘u’ word – but it’s been a year like no other.

Still feeling the impact of the global pandemic whilst slowly getting back to normal, 2021 saw its fair share of challenges for us all.

Here at The Fair Trade Practice we have always been committed to financial justice for our customers – but like everyone else we have had to continuously adapt to different and at times difficult circumstances over the past twelve months.

Despite the challenging landscape we have maintained our position at the forefront of our industry by offering more claims services than ever before, expanding into new products and providing more opportunities for our customers to claim back what is rightfully theirs.

As we look back on our achievements in 2021 we can also look forward with great excitement to the new opportunities that 2022 is set to bring.

Overcoming adversity and friendly faces reunited

We’re delighted to have kept our services running throughout the Coronavirus crisis, with our offices being open every single day for regular business hours throughout the pandemic.

Our team members, some working remotely, worked together fantastically to adapt and ensure our claims services continued and customers were kept informed.

As restrictions eased and conditions improved we were delighted to begin welcoming colleagues back to the office to further support our customers and return to providing our full level of service.

After their time away it was a great to see full teams reuniting and our offices feeling full again. Our in-house operations team worked very hard to ensure rules and measures were put in place to keep our staff safe at all times, with our team spirit key to helping everyone feel back to normal as quickly as possible.

A changing landscape

Sixteen months after the Financial Conduct Authority’s claims deadline on mis-sold PPI had passed we were still processing thousands of claims.

Though the deadline to make a new complaint had passed there was still a backlog of claims for lenders to work through and bring to conclusion – often the more complex of the PPI cases they will have received.

Add to this some lenders’ PPI departments ran at lower capacity than normal during the pandemic and that meant plenty of work was still to be done for our Admin teams to ensure claims were progressing and customers informed.

We have always been about putting our customers back into the position they should have been had they not been mis-sold, and 2021 was no different with almost two thousand offers of compensation still issued between January and November.

2022 could well be the final year of PPI claims, with the Financial Ombudsman Service expecting to complete their work on existing cases in the next 12 months, bringing to a close the worst consumer finance scandal in UK history.

Brand new offerings

Far from our services winding down in 2021, The Fair Trade Practice were proud to in fact launch more claims services this year.

As well as the last of the mis-sold PPI claims mentioned above, our existing mis-sold Packaged Bank Account service went from strength to strength.

Almost 20,000 people signed up to pursue their PBA claim using our service, where the average successful customer is awarded £1,216*.

Unlike PPI there is no claims deadline on mis-sold Packaged Bank Account complaints, so if you’re wondering if you were affected click here for more info (remember as always that you can pursue a claim yourself, for free, directly with the lender and the Financial Ombudsman Service).

Alongside mis-sold PBAs this year we were delighted to begin offering our customers the chance to claim back the tax unnecessarily deducted from their successful PPI compensation.

This has already been a huge success, with over 18,000 customers starting their claims with us since the brand new service launched in February.

We’re also pleased to be helping PPI customers make sure that they were not misled by undisclosed high commission – where lenders and brokers made high profits from PPI policies without the customer knowing – with over five-and-a-half thousand customers making use of this new service in 2021.

If you’ve had a successful PPI claim since 2017 and want to see if we can help reclaim the tax you paid (your claim could be time sensitive) or want to find out more about undisclosed commission, then click here.

An exciting future

These services will soon be complemented by others, as we use our position and experience as one of the UK’s leading Claims Management Companies to offer our customers as many opportunities as possible to achieve financial justice.

These include looking into Diesel Emission claims, mis-sold Pensions, mis-sold solar panels and more in an ever-expanding range.

What’s more these services will be showcased with a brand new look as we launch our new company website in 2022. That does mean saying goodbye to our old website, and our online customer portal Update+, but we’ll continue to keep customers posted on the status of their claims via email and from our UK-based customer contact centre.

Plus there’s something really exciting coming for the Fair Trade name later in 2022 that we can’t wait to tell you more about as the year goes on.

New opportunities, same Fair Trade Practice

With all the change and challenges of the last two years and the exciting future these new claims opportunities present, The Fair Trade Practice is as committed as ever to staying true to our values.

We offer consumers the choice to have someone else fighting in their corner with them as they lodge complaints against some of the biggest names in the business and finance worlds.

When they are left out of pocket, through no fault of their own, it’s only right that consumers are put back in the position they otherwise would have been. Never has this been more important than in today’s world with the rising cost of living too.

We are always delighted when a new customer chooses to use our services and as a friendly, human and customer-focused Claims Management Company we apply the same principles to each case across all our products.

Our talented and dedicated staff will continue striving to achieve the best outcomes for all our customers, and in that regard at least 2022 will be a year just like any other.

*As at March ‘21