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Doherty calls for Payment Protection Insurance Redress Scheme to be widened

24 April, 2017 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has called on the Central Bank to launch a full investigation into the mis-selling of Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) over the failure of certain financial institutions to disclose to its customers details of their ownership of firms through which policies were being underwritten.

The practice, which meant that customers were not made aware of the relationship between their lender and the underwriter, was found to amount to mis-selling of PPI in a High Court ruling dating back to 2015.

Deputy Doherty, who has written to the Central Bank calling for a redress scheme to be put in place for all customers affected, said:

“Despite the most recent review undertaken by the Central Bank into the mis-selling of PPI by financial institutions to customers, the failure by several banks to disclose their ownership or part ownership of the underwriting firms guaranteeing payments has not been properly addressed.

“The undisclosed use by lenders of underwriters that were either in part or entirely owned by them for the purpose of selling PPI is a clear breach of existing regulations.

“This can be seen from a High Court case back in 2015, in which GE Money lost the case after the court ruled that the company’s failure to disclose its ownership of the underwriter in question was capable of amounting to a misleading commercial practice.

“In her ruling, Ms Justice O’Malley stated that the non-disclosure of commission, combined with a failure to give adequate information as to the connection between the intermediary and the underwriter, likely caused the consumer to be misled.

“It’s my belief that this is not an isolated incident, and that there are yet many more customers who have been mis-sold insurance and who may be entitled to redress.

“Based on the latest information from the Central Bank, it’s reported that to date over €70 million has been refunded to policyholders as a result of having previously been mis-sold PPI by their lenders.

“While the bank hasn’t disclosed the latest data on the number of policyholders to which this amount relates, figures provided by the Central Bank from 2015 revealed that then around 83,490 affected policyholders had received refunds.

“I have already written to the Governor of the Central Bank Philip Lane, in which I call on the bank to open a full investigation into this matter, while also urging that the onus currently on individual customers to pursue cases themselves is shifted and instead placed on the lender to take responsibility in order for an appropriate redress scheme to be put in place for all those affected.

“It is my sincere hope that the Central Bank will now take swift and firm action in relation to this issue so that all those who have been mis-sold PPI can receive whatever refunds and or compensation owed to them.” 

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