29th Aug 2019

What is PPI and How was it Mis-sold?

What is Payment Protection Insurance?

Payment protection insurance (PPI) is a type of insurance intended to help borrowers meet repayments, in case of sickness, unemployment or any other circumstances that would leave them unable to pay.

It tends to be offered alongside many financial agreements, such as credit cards, loans, and mortgages. While there is nothing inherently wrong with PPI, it was mis-sold by banks and lenders on a mass scale over the last few decades, with over 60 million policies sold from 1990 onwards.

Millions of people purchased PPI without knowing they had done so, leaving many entitled to compensation – provided they could prove that the PPI was indeed mis-sold to them.

Consequently, it is widely recognised as the largest financial scandal ever in the UK, with customers reclaiming more than £30bn in total so far. Currently at £44bn this figure is widely expected to rise to somewhere between £50 - £100bn by the time this scandal finally ends.

Financial Products sold with PPI

You might have had PPI sold to you if you’ve taken out or used loan or credit products, such as:

  • loan – this includes personal loans and business loans
  • credit card
  • store card – this is usually from a high street store (find out more about store cards below)
  • mortgage
  • a secured loan on your home in addition to your mortgage
  • a bank overdraft facility
  • car finance or something else bought on credit, such as a sofa – this may have been called a ‘finance agreement’ or ‘hire purchase’
  • home shopping account including catalogue accounts

How PPI was mis-sold to consumers

  • PPI being added to a finance agreement without the customer's knowledge or consent
  • Lenders pressurising customers into taking out PPI on their loan, mortgage or credit card – claiming it is compulsory when in fact it is optional
  • Lenders failing to explain the costs of PPI
  • PPI policies that do not cover the full amount of a loan or the full repayment period
  • Policies that do not cover the self-employed