20 June 2016
Ever wondered who they all are and what they do? The scandal surrounding the mis-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI) has brought many organisations to the fore, some of whom you may not have heard of, let alone know what they do.
Financial Conduct Authority - also known by its initials FCA, this is the body that is responsible for 'policing', setting and monitoring standards within the financial sector in the UK. They have various regulatory powers which means if a bank, lender or financial company is not behaving in a way that is expected of them, they can be fined and their practices scrutinised.
Financial Services Authority - the FSA was the pre-cursor to the FCA. It didn't have as many powers as the FCA, its predecessor. In fact, it has been described as a regulatory body without teeth. This is because many people thought the banks were self-regulating, and always acted in a truthful and honest way. The PPI mis-selling scandal showed that when profits were at stake, this was not the case. Although they may have seen the PPI mis-selling scandal, they were not able to do very much about it.
Competition Commission - this was the body that first brought up the problem with how PPI was being sold. They referred it to Parliament as well as investigating the matter themselves. They found that banks and lenders were using dubious and questionable selling techniques when it came to PPI.
Financial Ombudsman Service - also known as FOS, this is the agency that looks at arguments between customer and bank, effectively deciding who is right. They deal with all kinds of financial products and will only investigate a case that a customer brings to them if they have attempted to resolve the issue with the bank first. This is why you need to submit PPI compensation claims to the bank first but, if the bank refutes your claim, you can refer it to FOS. They are inundated with PPI compensation claims, as well as still looking at other financial products and complaints.
Claim management companies - sometimes known as CMCs, these are companies who act on behalf of their customer and claim PPI compensation on their behalf. They charge a fee for this professional service, usually a % of the total PPI compensation received. There are some CMCs that are better, more efficient and more professional than others (as there are in all walks of life). Most operate on a no win, no fee basis, a great way of taking a chance to claim your money back, without taking a financial gamble.