Consumers who were mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) policies prior to July 2007 and who were previously denied any recourse should make a complaint to the Financial Services & Pensions Ombudsman as he now has the power to deal with these cases, according to the Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath TD.

Deputy McGrath commented, “While a previous Central Bank review (2014) of PPI policies resulted in 83,500 customers being refunded over €71m, sales of these PPI policies prior to July 2007 were excluded under the old ‘six year rule’ governing the Ombudsman’s work. Consumers who were blatantly mis-sold these policies prior to that date were effectively denied justice.

“However, under new legislation, the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman (FSPO) now has the power to consider older cases. The Minister for Finance has confirmed in a Dáil reply to me that if the loan to which the payment protection is attached is over five years and one month in duration, it would be considered a long term financial product and the Ombudsman could then consider a complaint where the conduct being complained of occurred during or after 2002 or at his discretion before this date.

“This is a very significant change and consumers who feel they were mis-sold a PPI product prior to July 2007 should now consider the steps open to them, particularly where the PPI related to a mortgage, personal loan, business loan or asset finance. In many cases previously examined, the Central Bank found that the credit institutions sold PPI products that were not suitable for the consumer. In some instances, the consumer could never benefit from the product because they were ineligible.

“The change in the six year rule in the case of long-term financial products could also benefit many other consumers and I would advise consumers to examine whether they can now take a long-standing complaint through the system.”