With exactly two years to go until the deadline for mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) compensation claims to be submitted, law firms have been told to make sure any applications they work on adhere to the rules.
The SRA has reminded the profession of its responsibilities when helping the public seek compensation. A cut-off for such requests has been set for 29 August, 2019 by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
While some PPI claims can be straightforward, some people find the process difficult to navigate, or have a particularly complex situation. Solicitors can help with the application process in these types of circumstances. However, the SRA has told the profession that the Code of Conduct obliges them to make sure the claims they work on are valid and that the advice they provide represents value for money.
Reports received by the regulator raise concerns that solicitors have:
- acted in matters without first investigating whether there is a valid claim
- made claims without the knowledge of the client
- failed to properly identify clients and confirm client instructions
- submitted false claims in the hope of a settlement without further investigation by the lender
- charged unreasonable costs for a limited amount of work
The warning notice also reminds solicitors that they should make sure that the claims they are handling have not been brought through cold calling – where the client is approached and invited to make a claim.
Paul Philip, SRA Chief Executive, said: “Making a claim for compensation over mis-sold PPI can be confusing, and people might want to seek professional advice. The vast majority of solicitors provide a good service, helping to make sure their clients are properly compensated.
“A tiny minority however fall below the high standards we and the public expect of them. Our warning notice sets out what solicitors should and should not be doing when handling these claims. If we find evidence that solicitors have not acted in the way they should, we will take action to protect the public.”
The warning notice can be found here: