PPI Refunds in Ireland

Original Artice From 2014 – Updated in 2017 to take account of legislation changes.

The issue of mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI)  was very widespread in the UK and it looks like the banks also tried to make easy profits from it here in Ireland.
It came to light aroud 2011 that several  financial institutions in Ireland (just like in the UK) had probably been selling PPI to people who had no need for it or could not benefit from it . It also looks like that PPI was added on in some cases  without customers even being asked about it.
Update – 2015   more problems with Card Protection Policies

In 2013 , several  companies  were forced to review all their Irish PPI sales since July 2007 at the request of the Central Bank. See Here  http://www.moneyguideireland.com/payment-protection-insurance-investigation-the-latest.html

The July  2007  cut off date was used because that is when the Consumer Protection Code came into force. It does not mean that customers cannot claim refunds prior to July 2007. (But it will be more difficult)
The review of PPI was completed in early 2014 and all customers that were  sold a PPI poilcy by one of the banks in the review should have received a letter about the policy.  Details of the results of  the PPI Review Here

Did You have a PPI Policy ?

If you took out a loan, a mortgage  or got a credit card or an overdraft  you were probably offered or sold an insurance policy to cover some or all of the the repayments if you lost your job or got sick. This type of insurance is known as Payment Protection Insurance or PPI.

Some people might not  even realise they have or had a PPI policy. . You can find out by asking your mortgage provider , loan provider or credit card or store card provider if you have  PPI (or had one in the past )

Have you been mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance ?

You may have been  missold PPI if one or more of the following applied to you…

  • Was the fact that PPI was optional  made clear to you?  Were you told that you had to take out PPI at the same time as the loan?
  •  Did the sales adviser tell you about any significant exclusions under the policy – for example, the exclusion that says you won’t be covered for any pre-existing medical condition?
  •  If you had to pay for the PPI as a single payment, did the adviser make it clear that the insurance cost would be added to the loan and you would be paying interest on it?
  • Were you unemployed or self-employed at the time of the sale?
  • Were you working 16 hours a week or less when you were sold the PPI?
  • Were you sold PPI when you were on contract work?
  • Were you not asked if you had any other insurance which would cover the loan?
  • Were you led to believe that your chances of securing the loan were better if you purchased PPI?
  • Were details of your medical history  not asked for?
  • Did you feel pressured into purchasing the PPI?
  •  Were the terms and conditions of the fine print not properly explained to you?

Getting a PPI Refund

1) If you took out a PPI policy since July 2007 you should have been contacted by the bank that sold it to you during 2014 .  If the sale did not comply with the consumer protection code – you should have been  offered a full refund of premium plus interest.  (Latest info on Review Progress Here)

2) If you were not been offered a refund of your PPI – but you believe you were missold it – you can still make a complaint to the bank. Write to the bank or credit card company that sold you the PPI . Tell them in writing why you think it was missold to you – listing the reason(s) (see above) and ask them for a refund of  the premiums.

If the bank or lender refuses to give you a full refund you can then send a complaint to the Financial Services Ombudsman. (FSO)

Update :  August 2017.
One big problem here in Ireland was that prior to August 2017 – if you complained more than 6 years after the PPI start date – the complaint could not be dealt with by the ombudsman. More about the 6 year rule here

This has now changed – and now you can make a complaint to the Ombudsman on a policy more than6 years old if you became aware of a problem with it in the past 3 years.  So – if you were told in 2002 that PPI was compulsory – but did not find out until 2014 that it wasn’t – then you can now make a complaint.
More about this Change to the 6 Year Limit here

You can download Ombudsman complaint form HERE

Make an Online Complaint Here

FSO Contact details : Telephone  1890882090 or email. enquiries@financialombudsman.ie.

The Small Claims Court may also be an option – we know of at least one successful case taken against PTSB for misselling of PPI. It only costs €25 to go to the small claims court  – but there is a limit of €2000 per claim.

Some people think that the Statute of Limitations  puts a 6 year limit on pursuing  refunds – but that might not be  the case.
The law states that in the case of fraud or mistake – “the period of limitation shall not begin to run until the plaintiff has discovered the fraud  (or mistake) or could with reasonable diligence have discovered it.” ….

Average refunds of misssold PPI premiums  are about  €3250 in the UK – so it’s worth doing. If you have had very large loans or credit card balances – the PPI payments could be thousands of Euro.
In the UK – consumers have already claimed back over £24 billion – (late 2016) and there are thousands more refund claims in the pipeline.  See  http://www.moneyguideireland.com/payment-protection-insurance-refunds.html