If you live in Manchester or anywhere else in the UK, then your money is important to you. Unfortunately, there can be unscrupulous businesses or people out there that would also like to have it! Being aware of these dangers is key to being able to avoid them and keep your hard-earned cash in your bank account, where it belongs.
One area within this that you need to be aware of is financial mis-selling. This is particularly relevant at the moment with the ongoing PPI scandal that has affected many people.
What is financial mis-selling?
Financial mis-selling made simple
In a nutshell, financial mis-selling is where you may have been sold a financial product that you didn’t want, didn’t need, didn’t ask for, isn’t suitable, or didn’t understand. The types of financial product that this can relate to include:
- Credit cards
- Life insurance
If you feel that any of the above was something that has been mis-sold to you, then you have a right to pursue compensation. Of course, it is not a given that you will get it! The onus will be on you as the claimant to provide evidence of the mis-selling for the courts to rule in your favour.
Payment Protection Insurance scandal
One of the biggest banking scandals of recent times was the mis-selling of a financial product called Payment Protection Insurance (or PPI for short). This involved people and businesses being mis-sold PPI that they didn’t want or need on loans, mortgages, credit cards and store cards. In some cases, the PPI was taken out for people without them even knowing about it!
Since 2011, it is estimated that around £23bn has been paid out by the banks involved in compensation to victims. This shows not only the scale of the issue but also the significant amounts that businesses and people may be entitled to if affected.
What can you do if you think you have been mis-sold PPI?
The big question for many people is how to claim PPI? After all, it is one thing to know that you may be entitled to compensation for this but another altogether to actually access it. Luckily, claims management companies now exist to help people and businesses do just that. Quick research on the internet will help you to find one, but just be careful to use a reputable company.
The process itself is very simple and smooth once you have found a good-quality claims management company to assist you. While you can try to follow it up yourself without any help, it can be quite a stressful and laborious process. Just be quick though – the deadline for claims is August 2019.
What if you have been mis-sold in other areas?
PPI is one of the largest financial mis-selling scandals that the UK has seen, but this area is not limited to that one product. If you feel that any financial product that you have been sold was not done correctly, then you can pursue a claim. It is usually best advised in the first place to speak with the FCA or relevant financial ombudsman to see if they can help.
If necessary, you could also try a solicitor who specialises in the type of product that you believe has been mis-sold to you. Do some research on solicitors in your local area who may be able to help, and speak to them to see if you may have a claim. As before, you will need written evidence to back up your claim and help to get the outcome you desire.
Life insurance mis-selling: an example
Sometimes, it is best to explain financial mis-selling with an example. Life insurance can be a real hot spot for this type of activity due to the unsuitability of the cover sold to people knowingly by the provider. If a man with no wife or grandchildren but lots of savings and investments was sold a whole life insurance or annuity package to provide an income after his death on purpose, this would count as mis-selling as it is obviously not suitable for his situation.
Financial industry clean-up
It must be said that most of the people involved within the financial sector are very professional, and mis-selling may never happen to you. With the scandal around PPI having brought the issue into the open, the financial industry as a whole will be forced to clean its act up anyway where needed.
The bonus here for you as a consumer is that the financial products that you are sold in the future will hopefully be transparent and fit for purpose. If you do think that you have been mis-sold PPI or any other financial product though, it may be time to take action.