The investigation conducted by the Central Bank into misselling of payment protection insurance is nearing its end. The Central Bank had required all lenders to be present in a meeting and it is rumored that banks and financial institutions have been found guilty of selling PPI inappropriately. The Central Bank spokeswoman confirmed that the investigation shall end soon and that the relevant findings shall be made public. This is an important development considering the fact that customers will become eligible for refund running into millions of euros if it is proved that banks were indeed guilty of misselling.
Payment protection insurance is designed to help salaried individuals continue with repayments even if they lose their jobs. Policy has been designed to help salaried individuals only and self-employed or government employees may not enjoy any benefit by purchasing such a policy. However, widespread misselling has resulted in even unemployed individuals being forced to purchase this policy.
Even as the Central Bank started investigating the issue of the selling of payment protection insurance policies, many banks started refunding money to customers who had been sold policies due to administrative lapses or breakdown of verification systems. BoI has refunded €1 million to 1500 customers while AIB has repaid €3.1 million to 11,500 customers stating errors in the verification of information provided by the customer. GE Money has also stated that that administrative errors resulted in customers being sold the wrong type of cover. As of now, no bank is prepared to accept that these mistakes occurred due to anything other than innocent and genuine errors.
While banks may be claiming that all mistakes are completely innocent, the ground scenario suggests a completely different story. Banks are proactively and retrospectively changing the terms and conditions of policies issued to ensure it suits the requirements and eligibility conditions of customers better. However, the claim that all mistakes occurred due to administrative lapses and minor errors is difficult to accept. As of now, preventive action by banks is ensuring that they are not accused of misselling PPI policies.