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General Financial Mis-Selling FAQs

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What is PPI?

PPI (Payment Protection Insurance) is an insurance product sold when taking out a loan, mortgage, credit card or other financial agreement. PPI covers the policy holder for their monthly repayments should they suffer an illness, lose their job or any other situation which results in the policy holder not being able to earn money to meet their commitments.

How can I tell if I have PPI?

Some borrowers were sold PPI policies without even being told about it; so you may have a payment protection insurance policy you weren’t aware of.

If you have a loan, it is worth checking:

  1. The original loan documents and seeing if PPI is mentioned
  2. Whether there are any other unexplained charges included amongst the repayments
  3. Your banking history to see if there has been any other direct debits you were not aware of.

Take note that PPI is known by many names, including loan insurance, debt protection and any number of other variants – just because you don’t see “PPI” listed on any document, this does not mean you haven’t been paying for it.

If you are still not certain whether or not you have a PPI policy, get in touch with us today by calling 0191 462 0000 and we will be glad to assist you.

Check for PPI.

Why are Lenders paying back PPI?

In April 2011, The High Court ruled that all lenders who have mis-sold PPI must compensate clients. Millions of claims have already gone through the banks and billions of pounds have been paid out in redress. Often cases have ended up with the Financial Ombudsman Service, where the majority of claims that were refused by lenders where actually found in favour of the consumers and they received compensation.

Do I have a valid PPI claim?

If you have taken out a loan a mortgage or a credit card, you may have been mis-sold PPI. Below is a list of reasons as to why it may have been mis-sold; if you agree with any one of them you may be eligible to make a claim.

  1. You were not aware you had been sold PPI
  2. You had previous medical conditions when you bought the PPI policy
  3. You already had cover with another insurance provider
  4. The Lender did not investigate your financial situation to ensure the PPI policy was the right policy for you
  5. You were advised to take out the policy to obtain the loan/credit card agreement
  6. The sales person was pushy and you felt you had to take out the PPI policy
  7. Depending on your employment status you may not have needed PPI. For example, if you were self-employed, the PPI policy would not apply to you

What is a Packaged Bank Account (PBA)?

Packaged Bank Accounts (also known as Added Value Accounts or Premium Accounts) are current accounts that have a set monthly charge for additional benefits such as mobile phone insurance, car breakdown cover, gadget insurance and extended warranties. The account fees vary in price from around £6 to £35.

How do I know if I have a PBA?

In most instances, people who have a PBA will have been sold the account either over the phone, on the internet or in their high-street branch. However, on some occasions, bank accounts have been upgraded to a PBA without the client’s knowledge. To find out if you have a PBA, check your bank statement for a set amount leaving your account on a monthly basis.

How are PBAs mis-sold?

Whilst there are some PBA’s that have been correctly sold, there are many reasons why one may have been mis-sold. For example:

  • You weren’t eligible for the products being offered e.g. there were age or medical restrictions for some of the insurance policies that were not explained at the time of purchase.
  • You already had cover elsewhere e.g. you may be covered under a work policy or a personal policy purchased before the PBA.
  • You were told that you needed to upgrade your account in order to qualify for a loan or overdraft application.
  • You may not have been made aware that a free current account alternative was available.

What is a Delayed Flight Claim?

If a flight was delayed for more than three hours, the airline will most likely have to pay compensation to the passenger under the EU 261/2004 Regulation. This also applies for overbooked and cancelled flights. The legislation details that the airline will have to compensate the passenger if the delay was avoidable.

What information will I need to provide in order to claim?

In order to start the claim process, we will need some personal details including your name and address. We will also need details specific to the flight, for example, departure airline, arrival airline and number, booking reference number, time and date. Please note if you don’t have the above details, check with the travel agent you booked through or any old and/or deleted emails for the booking confirmation document which will show all of the above information.

I have found the details that you requested, what should I do now?

If we have requested additional information from you please either call us and let us know over the phone, or if we need to see the evidence scan the document or take a photo and email it across to us. Alternatively post the document to us using the freepost address.

Can I still claim if another passenger on the booking has claimed?

The EU 261/2004 legislation states that the airline will pay out on a booking reference once. Therefore, if someone else on the same booking reference has received compensation, unfortunately we will be unable to claim on your behalf.

I have received an invoice asking for my account details. How will I be paid?

If you have received an invoice asking for your account details, this is because the airline has paid us directly. It is more than likely we have already received the compensation from the airline, so please email us or call us immediately to provide your account number and sort code. Once we have this information from you, we will deduct our fee and send the remaining compensation to your requested account.

Please note if you would prefer us to send you a cheque, just let us know.

How much compensation will I receive?

The legislation states that if you are delayed more than three hours and the flight was less than 1500 km in distance, this results in compensation of 250 euros per passenger. A flight within the European Union greater than 1500 km in distance, or any other flight greater than 1500 km but less than 3500 km in distance results in compensation of 400 euros per passenger. A flight not within the European Union of greater than 3500 km in distance results in compensation of 600 euros per passenger. Don’t worry about figuring out the length of your flight though; we will do that for you, just ask us if you’d like to know.

What happens if the Airline rejects my complaint?

Once we receive a response, we will assess it and decide what our next step will be. We will also more than likely contact you at this point. We will look at the letter and see if we believe the airlines rejection is justified. If we understand and agree with the rejection, we will close the complaint, whereas if we believe that the airline is avoiding paying compensation, we will challenge their decision for you.

I’ve received an email/letter/call from the airline what should I do?

If you have received any correspondence from the airline, please contact Allay immediately. When doing so, please let us know what you have received. We will then be able to assess the communication and update your complaint. If the airline calls you, let them know you have a third party (Allay) dealing with your complaint and refer them through to us. We will then receive contact from the airline and will deal with the complaint on your behalf.

How could I have been mis-sold solar panels?

You may have been mis-sold solar panels if the person that sold them to you gave you false or mis-leading information. Below are several examples of this;

  • If they told you that you would make your money back with the Feed In Tariff in so many years, then you find out that the panels are generating less than the quoted amount.
  • If you were told that you would see a huge reduction in your energy bills as a result of having the panels, but you subsequently did not make a saving.
  • If you felt pressured by the sales person into taking the panels when you didn’t want and/or need them.
  • If the sales person offered you a discount for signing the contract that day.
  • If you were not given the chance to read the contract.

There are many other reasons than the ones provided above. Therefore, if you feel that you were mis-sold solar panels, please call us to discuss your issue with one of our agents.

Why have you requested 24 months of energy bills? I don’t have these documents, what should I do?

We have requested 12 months of energy bills prior to the installation of the solar panels and 12 months’ post installation, so we can calculate if the solar panels have been of benefit to you. To do this, we will also need your Feed In Tariff statements and a copy of the loan agreement (if applicable).

If you do not have a copy of the energy bills to hand, please call your energy provider and they will be able to send them out to you.

Why do I need to have paid on a credit card or by a loan?

In order to process your claim, we need you to have paid for all or part of the panels with a credit card or a loan. This means that we are then able to claim under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

If you have only paid for part of the panels with a loan/credit card, don’t worry as we still claim for the full amount you paid under the contract as long as you have evidence of the remaining payment(s).

How could I have been mis-sold a timeshare re-sale and/or holiday club membership scheme?

We find that most of our clients were mis-sold a timeshare re-sale by being approached abroad by a company offering to sell the timeshare on for them for an upfront fee. However, the company then disappears but the client still gets maintenance fees from the timeshare showing that it has not been taken over.

We find that most of our clients were mis-sold a holiday club membership scheme by being approached by a representative of a company and being invited to a presentation. The company will then offer the client discounted holidays and exclusive holidays if they take out a membership for an upfront fee. Once the client has paid the fee, the company will disappear or the holidays will not be what was described; they will likely be of poor quality or not cheaper than others on the market.

The above are just examples of scenarios. If you feel that you have been mis-sold a timeshare re-sale and/or holiday club membership scheme, please contact us and we will be able to advise you further.

Why do I need to have paid on a credit card or by a loan?

In order to process your claim, we need you to have paid for all or part of the scheme with a credit card or a loan. This means that we are then able to claim under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. If you have only paid for part of the scheme with a loan/credit card, don’t worry as we still claim for the full amount you paid under the contract as long as you have evidence of the remaining payment(s).

How long will my PPI claim take?

Once your claim has been submitted, it can take up to 21 days to be acknowledged. A decision regarding your claim will then be made; this can take 8-16 weeks. Timescales can change due to the claim type, complexity of your case or the workload of the Lender. Should we not be satisfied with the final response given, we will elevate your case to the relevant regulator for that claim type, such as the Financial Ombudsman Service on your behalf. This will extend the length of your claim but will be at no cost to you.

Will making a claim cost me anything?

Allay operates entirely on a no win no fee basis. This means that if your claim is not successful, for whatever reason, then you will not pay a single penny. A fee is payable if a case is not pursued at the client’s request outside of the 14 day cooling off period. Should your claim be successful then Allay will invoice you for an agreed fee as a percentage of the compensation recovered. You do not pay us until you are paid, so you are never out of pocket.

Please see the Allay Service Charge and Important Information section on our Terms and Conditions page for more information about payment.

If the Defendant (bank, airline, insurance company etc) contacts me directly, should I speak to them?

If the Defendant contacts you directly, this may only be to obtain further information to help with your case. We generally suggest that you ask the Defendant to write to Allay with their request so that we have all correspondence in writing for reference. Please contact us to advise us of any communication with the Defendant as your case handler may need to take further action on your claim.

If I receive an offer letter or a cheque, what should I do?

Please contact your case handler immediately so they can ensure the offer is for the correct amount and represents all of the money that we believe is due to you.We also suggest that you do not cash the cheque until you have sought advice from your case handler as in cashing the cheque some Defendants take this as acceptance of their offer.

What should I do if I receive any correspondence from the Defendant?

You should always forward all correspondence that you receive to Allay straight away so that your case handler can ensure the appropriate action is taken.

Why am I receiving another Letter of Authority when I have already signed one?

You have received another Letter of Authority to sign as your previous one may be out of date, or the Defendant may be different to the one you previously signed for.

Why do I have to pay tax on the 8% interest?

You have to pay the tax on the 8% interest, which the lender will deduct automatically from your redress amount, as this is classed as an income and we invoice you on the gross amount. Lenders will add 8% interest to a redress. From 1st October 2013, lenders are ordered to remove 20% tax from the 8% interest.

Clients can contact HMRC to request a tax rebate for the tax on the 8%, but this will depend on the client’s income/salary. This year’s tax allowance is £9,440. If a client is under this threshold/on benefits etc. they may get a refund of the tax paid on the 8% interest.

Why am I receiving warnings when I have not received the redress from my lender?

If you have not received your redress from the lender, please contact us. The reason you are receiving warnings is due to the system changing your status automatically, and that is therefore why you are being chased for payment. Please get in touch and one of our advisors will be able to change the status of your claim.

I am being asked for further information which I do not have?

If you are receiving requests for further information and do not have this, please contact us and speak to your case handler. We may still be able to proceed with your complaint, but in some cases this will result in closure due to a lack of supporting evidence.

My personal details have changed, what do I do?

You can either contact us via email or call us and speak to an advisor who will change your details for you.

I have added a claim and realised the lender/defendant name I gave is incorrect, what should I do?

Please contact us immediately to correct this. You will then receive a new Letter of Authority to sign and return in a pre-paid envelope.

I have found the correct account number for my claim, what should I do?

Please contact us immediately so we can update the information on the complaint. This may help speed up the process of your claim.

Do you have an example of what I will pay as a fee?

We are entitled to receive 36% (inclusive of VAT where applicable) of redress recovered relating to all accounts with your lenders/defendant, no matter if this was received after the initial settlement, whether the redress was received by way of loan / arrears reduction and/or in cash. This fee may be shared with any introducer(s).

Example 1: Compensation is cash in hand
If the agreed fee is 36% (inclusive of VAT where applicable) and the redress we obtain for you is £2,000, of which all £2000 is cash, we will charge you £720 as our fee. You will receive £1280.

Example 2: Compensation is cash in hand with loan and/or future instalment reduction
If the agreed fee is 36% (inclusive of VAT where applicable) and the redress we obtain for you is £2,000, of which £1000 is cash and £1000 is loan reduction, we will charge you £720 as our fee. You will receive £280 and have your loan reduced by £1000.

Example 3: Compensation is used to offset arrears on credit card or loan
If the agreed fee is 36% (inclusive of VAT where applicable) and the redress we obtain for you is £2,000, of which £0 is cash and £2000 is loan reduction, we will charge you £720 as our fee. You will receive £0 cash and have your loan reduced by £2000.

How do I send documents to you?

Our Pack, Letter of Authority, Terms of Business – please post these back in the free post envelope provided. If you have not received this, please call the number on the letter and we will send this out to you. Alternatively, please send it to the free post address ‘FREEPOST, The processing Centre, NE1 2LA’.

ID, Utility Bills, Bank Statements, Supporting Evidence – you can scan these documents or take a good quality photo of them and email them to the address on the letter. Or you can post this back in the free post envelope provided. If you have not received this, please call the number on the letter and we will send this out to you. Alternatively, please send it to the free post address ‘FREEPOST, The processing Centre, NE1 2LA’.

I want to contact you from my mobile, what number is best to use?

You can contact your case handler directly. If you check any correspondence from them, you will find their direct local rate line – this will begin with 0191. Alternatively, please use 0191 462 0000, which will take you through to our main line.

What are your opening hours?

We are open Monday to Friday 9am – 6pm.*

*We do have staff members who occasionally work overtime, which can range from 08:00 until 20:00 Monday to Saturday.

The Financial Ombudsman (FOS)

The Financial Ombudsman (FOS) do offer free support you can find more information at http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/

51%*of PPI claims that were submitted to FOS were resolved in favour of the consumer. Here is a small sample of lenders who said that PPI was not mis-sold, yet were upheld by FOS.

HFC Bank 87%*
Shop Direct 88%*
Barclays Bank PLC 61%*
Lloyds Bank PLC 64%*

For more information go to http://www.ombudsman-complaints-data.org.uk/

*This is the percentage of cases, the ombudsman service resolved in favour of the consumer in the six-months period from 1 July to 31 December 2016.