The Financial Conduct Authority said today it had reached an agreement with Card Protection Plan Limited (CPP) and 13 high street banks and credit card issuers, paving the way for redress to be paid to customers who were mis-sold CPP’s Card Protection and Identity Protection policies.
Seven million customers who between them bought 23 million card protection policies will soon receive a letter from CPP giving more information on the process.
The redress bill could be up to £1.3bn with redress per customer depending on the type of policy or policies owned and the length of time it was held.
The insurance products ‘Card Protection’, which cost approximately £30 per year and ‘Identity Protection’, which cost approximately £80 per year were widely mis-sold by CPP, resulting in a £10.5m fine in November 2012.
Customers were given misleading and unclear information about the policies so that they bought cover that either was not needed, or to cover risks that had been greatly exaggerated.
As well as CPP selling directly to customers, high street banks and credit card issuers introduced millions of customers to CPP.
CPP and the following high street banks and credit card issuers have voluntarily agreed to be part of the Scheme and will provide the money needed to pay redress:
• Bank of Scotland Plc (part of Lloyds Banking Group)
• Barclays Bank Plc
• Canada Square Operations Limited (formerly Egg Banking Plc)
• Capital One (Europe) Plc
• Clydesdale Bank Plc (part of National Australia Group Europe)
• Home Retail Group Insurance Services Limited
• HSBC Bank Plc
• MBNA Limited
• Morgan Stanley Bank International Limited
• Nationwide Building Society
• Santander UK Plc
• The Royal Bank of Scotland Plc
• Tesco Personal Finance Plc
While an agreement has been reached with all the parties, before redress can be paid there must first be a vote by customers and approval from the High Court.
This means redress itself is not expected to be paid out until Spring 2014. The time between now and then will be spent seeking Court approval of the Scheme and ensuring CPP customers’ voices are heard.
“We have been encouraged that, working closely with the FCA and despite their different business needs, a large number of firms have voluntarily come together to create a redress scheme that will provide a fair outcome for customers. This kind of collaborative and responsible approach is a good example of how firms are taking more responsibility and helping – step by step – to rebuild trust,” said Martin Wheatley, chief executive of the FCA.
“We believe this will be a good outcome for customers who may have been mis-sold the card and identity protection policies. Subject to CPP’s customers approving the scheme, these policy holders will be able to claim a full refund of premiums with interest.”
Key information for CPP customers
· Any affected customer will be contacted by CPP from 29 August 2013 onwards. The letters will explain in more detail how the Scheme works and what people can do next. The subsequent letter in the Autumn will also include an invitation to vote on whether the customer is in favour of the Scheme.
· If the Scheme is approved by voters, even those who voted against it will still be able to submit a claim for compensation.
If the Scheme is approved, all customers need to do is complete a simple claim form. They do not need to use a claims management company to help them claim redress.
· The Scheme is open to:
o all customers who bought or renewed the Card Protection product since 14 January 2005 (when the FCA began regulating the sale of general insurance products) from CPP, a bank or a card issuer who are participating in the Scheme; and
o customers who bought or renewed Identity Protection from CPP since 14 January 2005 by telephone.
· If customers are due compensation they will be entitled to the amount they have paid for their policy since 14 January 2005, less any money paid out by the policy, plus 8% interest on the amount owed.
· Should a customer make a claim their policy will be cancelled – even if their claim is rejected.
· Some customers will value the product and find some of the features useful, so they should think carefully about whether they want to keep the product before they make a claim.
· Any complaints referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service will be considered in line with the terms of the Scheme. More information can be found at www.cppredressscheme.co.uk or by calling 08000 83 43 93. The website and telephone helpline will be available from 28 August 2013.