PPI Misselling Scandal: Evidence at last.
There have been some problems with Payment Protection Insurance for some years; but little evidence, and few court cases. This insurance was particularly important if one’s employment was insecure. Now The Times, using an under over reporter, has revealed that Lloyds Bank contracted Deloitte to run a complaints unit. Deloitte sub contracted to Momenta, a City recruitment firm. Momenta used a “Lighthouse Guide” to train new recruits to assess complaints from Lloyds customers.
Deloitte claims that it cannot comment due to client confidentiality. Momenta claims it’s role was limited to hiring staff for Lloyds PPI complaint handling process.
Momenta spent 5 hours grilling the applicants for complaints handling. Then it was explained that there was a box which had to be ticked to opt into PPI. This box had been ticked by the salesman during, or after, a phone call to a customer. The customer did not know of this opting in process.
The applicants were trained to always assume that the salesman had not forged these documents. The customer may claim that they did not tick the box, but the applicants have written evidence, on their screen, that the box was ticked, and that the customer had signed the document. It was explained that discussion with a claimant can be morally difficult.
However, on receiving a rejection of their claim, about 90% of claimants would not pursue the claim. Others were only trying out the claim to see if it was accepted. Others still sought professional advice. This advice involved getting the bank to communicate with the professional advisers; and not directly with the claimant. The applicants were told to ignore this and go directly to the complainant on the phone. They were to ring only during the morning or afternoon. If the phone was not answered, they reject the claim. Yet others went to the Ombudsman, who accepted 84% of the claims. The bank then paid out.
Momenta is not only hiring, but training. This training used the “Lighthouse Guide”. This guide could not be removed from the room, or the building. The source of this document is unclear. The newly employed workers were given targets and bonuses. Some worked 7 day a week, some earned £10,000.00 per month.
Although Lloyds sub contracted this work to a third party, the new Financial Conduct Authority stipulate that Lloyds remains responsible for any misconduct.
Will the Financial Conduct Authority conduct a serious investigation?
Is there enough evidence from the Times for criminal charges?
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