The number of complaints that the financial ombudsman is receiving has increased even further and the watchdog is now fielding an average of 2,000 calls every single day. The PPI scandal certainly doesn’t look like it is set to break and there are more people than ever complaining both to financial organisations and to the ombudsman. What was initially estimated to cost banks around £4bn has already surpassed that figure and major lenders have set aside around £14bn in funds to pay reclaims. These figures continue to increase as organisations add to their contingency. FOS themselves have had to employ additional staff to deal with the increase in workload.
Previous figures had shown that the Financial Ombudsman was receiving approximately 1,500 calls a day regarding payment protection but the latest figures show that has further increased and the watchdog is now fielding a massive 2,000 calls every single day. They took on 1,000 extra staff in January of this year in order to assist in dealing with payment protection claims.
The FOS have placed some of the blame squarely at the doors of financial organisations who have proven less than helpful when it comes to dealing with some complaints. They have said that as complaint figures have increased, businesses have become increasingly likely to delay responses and repayments. Levels do not yet show any sign of receding and this means that the FOS and lenders will continue to come under increasing pressure.
Despite the increased pressure, a number of banks have previously requested that a deadline be placed on making claims. They said that they would fund a massive advertising campaign to help identify any customers that were left not having made contact regarding their policies. One leading PPI claims Northern Ireland Company has pointed out that increasing the urgency is likely to mean that yet more customers will contact the banks and financial organisations in a shorter period of time. If they are already struggling to cope with the load it is difficult to see how increasing this load will help.
Five organisations are said to have been responsible for 78% of the PPI complaints received in the second half of last year. Overall, the ombudsman has received a total of more than 600,000 complaints regarding this scandal and, last year, this meant that 74% of all complaints the group received were regarding payment protection insurance. 212,000 of the complaints, or approximately 35% of them, were received in the second half of 2012.
More and more people continue to file PPI claims Northern Ireland. The number of complaints received by the FSO and by financial organisations is a clear indication that there are still many claimants that have yet to have their case heard or be rewarded their refunds. PPI has been sold since the 1980s and a High Court case ruled that it was mis-sold to many policyholders and although the bill was initially estimated at around £4bn, the current expected rate is closer to £14bn and could rise further still.