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COMPETITION COMMISSION LATEST ON PPI INVESTIGATION LACKS TEETH – INCONCLUSIVE FINDINGS LET CONSUMERS DOWN, SAYS PAYMENTCARE.CO.UK

NO NEWS is bad news for credit customers as the Competition Commission fails to bring an end to the mis-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI) any closer, according to stand-alone PPI provider Paymentcare.co.uk.

Commenting on today’s announcement by the Competition Commission of its emerging thinking on the way PPI is sold, Shane Craig, managing director of Paymentcare.co.uk, said:

“This eagerly-anticipated report is singularly disappointing and will do nothing to prevent consumers from continuing to be sold overly-expensive PPI that may not be appropriate to their circumstances.

“There is no question that lenders selling their own PPI alongside a credit agreement, such as a personal loan, are not operating within a competitive environment. Point-of-sale decisions remove the opportunity for customers to consider other forms of protection. How can consumers make an informed choice if there is nothing to choose between?

“The link between PPI and point of sale for credit agreements needs to be broken if consumers are to be truly treated fairly.

“Take-up of lenders’ own PPI would unquestionably fall if it was separated from the primary credit agreement. Lenders have already got their foot in the door when the customer is signing up for a loan or mortgage and it’s not in their interest to let them go away and think about it.”

The Competition Commission makes the point that sometimes the cost of PPI is higher than the interest paid on the loan. The fact that the same levels of protection can be obtained from stand-alone PPI at a much lower cost must surely be conclusive evidence that consumers who are not made aware of this alternative are not being treated fairly.

“When balancing the benefits of insurance against the cost, a decision can only be made if consumers know the full range of options open to them,” said Craig

“The Competition Commission’s final report is not due to be completed for another year. If that comes to the same conclusions as today’s announcement, millions of borrowers will continue to either pay over the odds for cover they could buy much cheaper elsewhere or risk being unprotected altogether.”