If you have taken out a loan, credit card or service from the Co-operative Bank in the past, you could be entitled to compensation. Find out how below.
The PPI Scandal
PPI was sold as a value-added service by Co-op on top of loans, credit cards and other agreements and services. This insurance was designed to protect those who suffered long-term redundancy or illness when making repayments. However, many banks, including the Co-op, actively mis-sold PPI products to those who did not need them. People who would never have qualified for the insurance due to criteria such as self-employment have been paying hundreds and even thousands of pounds a year extra for services they simply don’t need. The Co-op fought a High Court case to argue that it should not have to back-date claims or consider applicants for compensation already rejected, but these challenges failed. In April 2011 the court ruled that banks had to pay up.
Can I Claim Compensation from the Co-operative Bank?
The financial ombudsman released guidelines in March 2012 ruling that all banks should write to their customers and inform them of PPI mis-selling. If you have not yet received a letter from the Co-op, you can contact your bank and request your statements, or download them online. If the APR on your loans and credit agreements seem higher than you thought, or your paperwork makes reference to PPI, you may be able to claim. Claiming directly from Co-op means calculating your APR, the timescale of the agreement and the details of the service you purchased. You must present these to the bank and allow them to operate within the eight week grace period granted by the FSA. If you are not satisfied with the outcome, the ombudsman can investigate your claim further. Currently, the Co-op has been granted a waiver for the timescale in dealing with the vast number of claims being made between May and December 2011. Since the 1st January 2012, the Co-op must revert to dealing with new claims within an eight-week period.
How to Proceed Directly with a Co-Op PPI Claim
You could claim directly with Co-op. Simply by calling them you will be able to find out who you need to speak to. The bank is legally obliged to investigate your case fairly. There are a number of template letters available online that could help you and of course, if successful, you keep all of your claim money.
Using a Claims Management Company to Claim from Co-Op
If you do not want to do this yourself, you could use a claim management company to make a PPI claim from the Co-op on your behalf. However, most claims management companies will charge a fee of anything up to 30% of your total claim plus VAT. If you do decide, in spite of this, to go ahead and use their services, make sure you check their Ministry of Justice Licence situation, reputation, success rates and fees beforehand. Don’t sign anything without reading the small print!