‘Surreal’, ‘bizzare’, ‘bonkers’ and ‘horrific’. Just some of the reactions to the advertising campaign launched by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) at the end of August to raise awareness of the Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) claims deadline.

With just under two years left for consumers to check their finances for mis-sold PPI, the subject has hit the headlines recently following the start of the campaign featuring an Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonator.

Some of those media stories quoted James Walker, founder of consumer website Resolver, as he made some sweeping comments about the CMC (claims management company) industry.

Very few of these stories have allowed for a response from a CMC or group such as the Alliance of Claims Companies (ACC). As the ethical leader in our industry we would like to take the opportunity to dispel a few myths which, although may be true of other firms, are certainly not the case with The Fair Trade Practice.

James said: “Claims managers appeared due to the poor handling of complaints by financial businesses.”

We have been dealing with PPI claims since 2009, long before the FCA handed out fines to The Co-Operative Bank (2013), Clydesdale Bank (2015), CT Capital (2016) and Lloyds Banking Group (2013 & 2015) for poor PPI complaint handling.

In that time we have helped hundreds of thousands of customers check millions of lines of credit, winning back money which rightfully belonged to many of them. In that time we have also encouraged them to spread the word and help their friends, family members and colleagues check too, as well as assisting clients who were mis-sold Packaged Bank Accounts, or PBAs.

James said: “But let’s make it perfectly clear: using one does not improve your chances of succeeding with a PPI complaint.”

Using a CMC does not increase your chances of success on its own, and any CMC that says it does is breaking rules set out by our industry regulator the CMR. What we do offer our customers is a central place to co-ordinate all their claims with all their different lenders, plus our years of expertise in dealing with PPI claims.

This helps us to know how best to proceed with a case and what information lenders might require, reducing the time and work that customers need to commit to in order to get back money which they could potentially be owed.

In today’s busy world many of our customers are grateful that we were able to assist them in looking at their finances and checking for PPI, describing our service as ‘hassle-free’, our process as ‘simple’ and our team as ‘exceptional’.

James said: “And in many cases, their ‘cut and paste’ approach to complaints can hinder a successful claim by failing to tell the full story.”

We do not use a ‘copy and paste’ approach to submitting PPI complaints to lenders – each and every claim is worked and submitted by an individual member of our team.

Our complaint questionnaires are filled out over the phone with our customers to get bespoke answers on each and every case, which the client then checks for accuracy before we submit it to the lender.

Our approach may see us asking a set series of questions to our customers, but this is no more of a ‘cut and paste’ approach than the pre-populated questions found on the forms of the Resolver website itself.

James said: “With the final countdown on PPI complaints commencing, we need to spread the word to ensure that no-one is throwing away compensation they’re entitled to by using these totally unnecessary claims vultures.”

We couldn’t agree more about spreading the word to make sure no-one misses out on money which they are owed. With the FCA adverts raising awareness of the 2019 claims deadline we note the concerns of consumer groups and commentators who fear people potentially owed thousands of pounds may miss out on their chance to claim.

However, having run almost two million checks on our clients’ finances over the years, and winning back millions of pounds for happy customers, we consider our work to be absolutely necessary.

As per CMR regulations we advise all customers that they are able to pursue their claims without our help by going directly to the lender, as well as outlining our fee, right at the start of their investigation. If we find that a customer did not have, or was not mis-sold, PPI then we do not charge a fee thanks to our free checking service*. Hardly the conduct of ‘vultures’.

To date UK banks have set aside more than £43bn as they continue to be affected by the ‘biggest mis-selling scandal in financial services history’. Whilst setting the claims deadline the FCA admitted they do not know how many more people were affected by the saga.

New guidance passed in August, relating to the legal case known as Plevin, also means just having PPI may now mean some consumers are owed compensation.

If you feel that using a CMC is the right option for your financial claim then click here to get in touch.