Retail store card PPI
There is nothing more enjoyable for Brits than a spot retail therapy and to fund this many thousands of consumers took out store cards from high street retailers such as Debenhams, Top shop, Next or Mothercare as far back as the 1980s to early 2000. During this period most retailers sold PPI with their store cards either without the customer full knowledge or didn’t adequately check their suitability for this type of insurance. This has meant that many thousands of consumers could be entitled to compensation for mis-sold PPI in the wake of the biggest misselling scandal to hit UK financial services industry.
Store cards were a very lucrative option for the high street stores. They were sold for those who were either unwilling or unable to pay for their products in one go and made a profit through those who failed to pay off the entirety of the balance each month enacting interest charges of between 18 and 30 per cent. At their height, many thousands of store cards were sold with PPI often added to the equation.
Consumers who took out these store cards as long ago as the 1980s are unaware that they could be entitled to payouts.
Regulations were introduced in 2011 and since then store cards are nowhere near as prevalent in society. In these regulations, the government banned upfront discounts and commission being added to store cards, and enforced a seven-day cooling off period after any store card sale.
Store Card Retailers who sold PPI
If you took out a store card before December 2011, you may be entitled to claim PPI compensation. Please see the list below of store card by retailer and how PPI was mis-sold by retailers. If you have a PPI complaint or want to check if you were mis-sold PPI by a retailer, please complete our simple FREE PPI Check** form or call 0333 443 2500.
Making a PPI store card complaint
If you believe that you have been mis-sold PPI, you should make a complaint to the company that sold you the initial product. However, you will need to find out and complain to the provider of the card, not the store that used them.
If your complaint is rejected, it can be referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), who have the power to overturn this rejection.
However, there is a small issue with this, as the FOS has no power to deal with complaints made against Santander UK for PPI sold before 14 January 2005.
Why can’t I complain about mis-sold PPI claim to the FOS?
Many store cards operated through a company called GE Money, which was then bought out by Santander UK.
However, the Ombudsman is unable to consider PPI complaints rejected by Santander UK on store cards sold before 14 January 2005.
Jon Platt, founder of claims management firm JMP Partnership, explained that the Ombudsman does not always have the jurisdiction to consider rejected PPI complaints.
“Historic store card complaints will often be rejected by Santander UK, which has been by far the largest provider of store card credit after it took over GE Capital.
“What many consumers don’t realise is that the Ombudsman will only look at complaints attached to certain firms from certain dates.”
How can you fix this?
Luckily, there is an alternative option: write to the underwriter who had responsibility for ensuring PPI was appropriate for you at the time.
Any store cards sold by GE Money before the cut-off point in January 2005 were underwritten by Genworth Financial Insurance, which still exists. If you take your complaint to them, they are obligated to consider it again.
This company is under the jurisdiction of the FOS for any complaints dating back to the 1980s.
Platt explained: “There is an agency relationship here which makes Genworth responsible for all the misdeeds of Santander UK, as it is long-standing member of the General Insurance Standards Council.”
Genworth may decide to reject your complaint, but you can then refer this to the FOS. Platt says he has seen many cases where Santander UK has decided to reverse its decision after a complaint was made to Genworth.
What Santander UK says
A spokesperson for Santander UK said that it did not make its decisions based on if they could be referred to the FOS, and denied that Genworth had any impact on their choice to reverse decisions in the past.
But he did say the complaints were eventually deemed to be valid: “In both instances the cases were re-reviewed leading to these complaints being upheld.”
He added: “If a customer or their representative responds to us challenging our initial decisions, and we do provide opportunity for complainants to come back to us if they feel there is new information or we have overlooked anything, then we will always take the opportunity to review the full circumstances of the case again to ensure we have reached the right outcome.
“In a small number of cases, such as these this can result in us changing our original decision.”