How Far Back Can You Claim PPI And When is the PPI Deadline?
The key points you need to know regarding how far back you can claim PPI to get your money back.
If you’re one of the many people that has old loans or other finance agreements that have PPI attached, you’ve probably been wondering how far back can you claim PPI?
If you are looking for information on the PPI deadline, this article details all you need to know.
Most of what you see online and in the news with regard to claiming PPI talks about ‘the six year time limit for PPI claims’. That’s the time frame set by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) whereby banks and lenders must give your claim a full and proper investigation.
After that, things start to get a bit grey. But it’s not as cut and dried as the banks would like you to believe. Far from it actually.
We have successfully won many cases going back many years beyond the so-called six year time limit. Because of that, we can share with you what we know and how we have been so successful winning claims that many people thought were impossible to win.
This article will answer the most common questions related to how far back PPI claims can go and what the time limits are, if any.
The Supposed Six Year Time Limit for PPI Claims
First, let’s take a look at the six year time limit for PPI claims laid down by the FOS and what it actually is.
The six year time limit is the amount of time your lender must keep hold of your records that relate to the finance agreement you took out with them. Obviously they will keep hold of your records the whole time the policy is still live.
It’s when the policy has ended or is terminated that the actual time limit comes into play.
What it means is that your bank has to keep your details on file for six years from the date of completion or termination. It’s not from when you took the policy out, as many people mistakenly believe it to be.
If your PPI policy is still live, you can still make a claim because the six year time limit hasn’t come into effect yet. This is probably the biggest misunderstanding that consumers have regarding how far back you can claim PPI.
If your account is still active—regardless of whether it was taken out two months ago or twenty years ago—your lender will hold all the details, right from the date of outset up to the present day.
When a client of ours has an old policy and they ask how far back they can claim PPI, we tell them what we’ve just outlined above.
If for some reason their bank has misplaced some of the necessary paperwork, we simply ask the bank to do an estimate for the missing time period.
We have never found this to be a problem, and we have dealt with just about every bank and lender you can think of.
Where It Gets Slightly Complicated
Unfortunately, it’s not always as straightforward as you or we would like. Different banks have different practices in place, which is where it can get somewhat complicated.
In short, some banks follow the six year time limit to a T and dispose of your records as soon as it is reached. Conversely, other banks will hold on to your data for much longer than the statutory period.
Remember: the six year time limit comes into effect when the policy has concluded or has been terminated early.
Regardless of what a bank’s policy is, we generally put legitimate claims through and see whether the lender still holds the details for that particular client or not. If they don’t, we ask them to do an estimate instead.
What About PPI Claims Prior to 2005?
Many people that come to us wondering how far back PPI claims can go have policies that date back prior to 2005.
While the FOS are unable to adjudicate disputes in these claims, we’ve been successfully winning many of these cases for some time by pursuing different routes.
Although the new regulations that banks and lenders are bound by came into force in 2005, most major banks were still subject to regulatory schemes prior to this, albeit different ones from today. For that reason, we don’t have any issues complaining to the FOS for the major lenders prior to 2005.
Exposing and Exploiting Loopholes To Your Advantage
It’s usually the banks and other financial institutions that exploit loopholes to their advantage. However, our team have been turning the tables and exploiting a loophole that benefits our clients instead.
Some of the smaller lenders weren’t regulated prior to 2005, which means we can’t complain directly to the FOS about them. But we can—and do—exploit a loophole that we effectively forced into being. Although the lender wasn’t regulated at that time, the underwriter of the insurance policy would have been.
In the early days of claiming back PPI, the underwriters weren’t having any of it when we approached them for PPI refunds. They basically said it was nothing to do with them and refused to issue any refunds.
We thought differently. We began the process of meticulously building up a catalogue of such cases and have now arrived at a point where the underwriters are rarely able to play that card.
The Underwriter Has A Duty of Care to Ensure Fair Sales
When you took out your policy, it may have been with a broker or it may have been directly with your lender. Whichever way you took the policy out, we believe the underwriter of the policy had a duty to ensure the policy was suitable for you.
On the back of that belief, we simply forward complaints for policies prior to 2005 to the underwriter. This is done on the grounds that they had a duty to ensure their products were being sold correctly and in line with their regulations.
If they failed to ensure best practices for you, we believe them to be liable for the mis-sale of the policy.
Although the argument is a very sound one, the underwriters don’t simply hand over the money. Instead, we have to be able to prove a link between the seller of the policy and the underwriter.
Where we have a lender that sold large quantities of the same PPI product through the same underwriter, this has now become a relatively simple process. As such, we have a well-established process in place.
In the initial stages, this was a new process and the underwriters refused to pay out. In response to this, we stacked up many cases at the FOS against the underwriters. In the end, the underwriters had no choice but to accept liability and we now receive regular pay-outs from them.
The only time this won’t work is where we can’t prove a link between the seller of the policy and the underwriter. This is typically where an independent broker sold the policy pre-2005.
Since the independent broker had no connection to the underwriter, the underwriter has no liability. The broker is also exempt from responsibility because they were unregulated at that time, and these cases would be closed down.
So How Far Back Can You Claim PPI?
As you have seen, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this. The mainstream belief is that you can only claim back for policies less than six years old, but that just isn’t the case.
You can claim back many years beyond the six year time limit if you can prove a link between the underwriter of the policy and the lender or broker that sold it to you.
Cases where we often can’t prove a link between the seller of the policy and the underwriter is when the seller was an independent broker and the policy was a mortgage which sold prior to 2005.
The other important point to know when investigating how far back you can claim for mis-sold PPI is that the six year rule only takes effect when the policy has reached its natural conclusion or when it was cancelled.
If the policy is still live, you can start your claim today, regardless of when you took the policy out.
Similarly, if you took the policy out ten or twenty years ago, but only stopped paying for it in the last six years, you can claim on that too.
Keep In Mind The PPI Claims Deadline
The FCA has recently announced a proposed PPI deadline as June 2019, with FCA chief executive, Andrew Bailey, saying that “Putting a deadline on PPI complaints will bring the issue to an orderly conclusion in a way that protects both consumers and market integrity”. If the June PPI claims deadline is agreed, then it will likely come into force by the middle of 2017 along with a public awareness campaign to reach all those affected by PPI mis-selling.
It means if you’ve been procrastinating about starting your claim, you can’t continue doing so for much longer. On the other hand, you may not have been procrastinating at all — you may not even be aware that you actually have a claim to make.
One of the many ways in which PPI was mis-sold was to add it on without the customer’s knowledge.
That’s one of the reasons why there are still so many claims waiting to be made: people simply aren’t aware they were mis-sold and, therefore, are entitled to a refund.
If you know you have, or had, PPI and you wanted to know how far back you can claim, this has hopefully answered your questions.
Even with this information on how far back PPI claims can go, though, the whole process can be daunting for some people.
For answers to further questions or indeed to have your claim handled for you, get in touch. Pop your details into the short form above and a member of our claims and advice team will get back to you.
There’s no obligation to pursue your claim further after having a chat with us if you choose not to.