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PPI - Where did it all go wrong?

The story of payment protection insurance (PPI) and the mess the UK banking industry now finds itself in.

Banking has changed beyond all recognition. In our grandparent’s day, everyone knew the local bank manager. He lived amongst the populace and had a standing in the community. Decisions about who to loan to and why, were taken by him (for invariably, they were male back then!).

And then it started to change. Smaller banks were bought by larger banking groups and the notion of the bank manager became old fashioned. In some modern day cases, it can be hard to find the phone call for the local branch, never mind know who the manager is.

With these changes, came great success. People were able to access and borrow money more responsibly (but not in all cases). The way in which people could use their bank account, control payments and so on, improved dramatically.

But not all change is good. And when a chasm opens up between the customer and the bank, then rocky waters ensue.

What did and did not change?

Trust and loyalty are two factors that have changed but, in the case of the customer, we were slow to catch up.

In fact, we no longer keep our accounts with the same branch for years on end out of loyalty, but because we lead such busy lives and we think that swapping the current account will be too messy and fiddly.

This not the case.

But we stick the bank regardless. The banks, on the other hand, have moved on from this ‘old fashioned’ loyalty and trust thing. They are fuelled by greed – the need for gargantuan profits to stop them being vulnerable to take over. The banking sector is a cut throat global market these days…

The staff changed too

The modern bank worker is not the same as the ones your grandparent’s knew. Back office staff, that you don’t see or get to know, have targets to meet, they have sales to make, they have calls to do and they seek commission, a healthy bump on their basic take home salary.

The banking industry, like some other industries, fell to greed. The customer was no longer important, but a pawn in the game in which they played.

And this fuelled the mass mis-sale of PPI to thousands upon thousands of customers. Millions of PPI policies were mis-sold with billions of pounds taken from customers ‘in error’.

Now is the time to claim your money back, if you have not already done so. And Payment Protection Scotland, with the customer at the heart of its business, will help you do that.

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