There’s just one week left to complain about payment protection insurance (PPI).
The deadline for making claims to providers is 11.59pm on August 29, bringing an end to a scandal that dates back to the 90s.
Around £36,000,000,000 has already been paid back to customers since January 2011, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) figures revealed.
It is thought thousands of others also had PPI added to their store cards, credit cards or mortgages between 1990 and 2010, but are still yet to make a complaint.
The FCA is now preparing for a last-minute flurry of inquiries and have extended their help line for the final week before the deadline.
Nearly a fifth of 2,000 consumers surveyed said they would be making a last-minute decision on whether to complain about PPI, with 53 per cent confident they will do it before the deadline.
In the past eight weeks, there has been a 420 per cent surge in web users starting PPI complaints, and a 269 per cent increase in calls seeking advice.
However, the process of making a complaint can take time to put together, and so the FCA is urging anyone considering it to act as soon as possible.
PPI was intended to protect people if they could not keep up with their payments due to an unexpected change of circumstances, like illness or unemployment.
But it was widely mis-sold to customers, with many pressured into buying it, or unaware of what they were paying for.
It is the most complained-about financial product that the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has ever dealt with, with over 2,000,000 complaints logged.
Customers can also complain about PPI if a high level of commission was earned from the sale of the policy – without them being told about it.
They can even complain about this even if their previous grievance about being mis-sold PPI was rejected.
Those who are unhappy with the outcome of their complaint can also go to the FOS, provided the initial process was completed before the August deadline.
The FCA’s PPI deadline campaign lead Emma Stranack said: ‘Now is the time to act. We all lead busy lives and the FCA is prepared for a last-minute flurry of inquiries.
‘We’ve extended our PPI helpline hours to 8pm on weeknights and 5pm on Saturdays to provide further support to consumers and will be available for calls on Bank Holiday Monday.
‘Ultimately, we don’t want the UK public to miss their chance to decide. So, if you think you might have had credit with a PPI policy attached – particularly in the 90s or 00s – now is the time to get in touch with your provider.
‘You need to submit your claim by 29 August, or you won’t be able to claim money back for PPI.’
For more information visit the FCA’s website or call their helpline on 0800 101 8800.