FCA calls for consumers to think back, then act as PPI deadline closes in

With only one month to go until the 29 August 2019 PPI complaints deadline, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is urging consumers to jog their memories back to the 1990s and 2000s when they may have bought products and were mis-sold PPI at the same time.

The FCA has released new research and enlisted the help of eight-time World Memory Champion Dominic O’Brien, as part of its drive to ensure people don’t miss their chance to claim money back for PPI. 

The research*, released by the FCA, shows the majority of UK adults (87%)**  hit a significant milestone during the 1990s and 2000s – when many of the estimated 64 million PPI policies were sold in the UK. Almost half bought a car (49%), more than a third purchased a house (35%) and over a quarter got married (27%). More than four in 10 people – over 22 million*** – recall taking out credit to help fund these big-ticket items, including products that commonly had PPI attached such as loans, mortgages, credit cards or store cards. Brits estimate they have had four different credit streams on average – 71% remember taking out some form of credit, with 53% having between one and five credit products and 18% six or more.

The FCA is urging consumers to jog their memories by visiting its website which includes a comprehensive list of providers that have sold PPI. This includes high street stores, catalogue firms, building societies and supermarkets. It is also extending its PPI contact centre opening hours from 5 August to 8pm on weeknights and 5pm on Saturdays to provide further support to consumers.  

Emma Stranack, FCA’s PPI Deadline Campaign Lead, says: “The PPI deadline is closing in. With just over four weeks to go until 29 August 2019, we’re asking people to cast their minds back to the nineties and noughties and what might have caused them to take out a loan, credit card or other finance agreement. Weddings, house moves, new cars and holidays are just some of the types of investments people commonly employ credit to help with.

“If this rings a bell and you think you might have been mis-sold PPI, the next step is to identify your provider – you can search FCA’s list at fca.org.uk/ppi. Providers have online tools that make PPI claims simple and will help you through the process. It’s free to do yourself and you don’t need to worry about paperwork. You just need your date of birth and previous home addresses to get started.”

The FCA’s new research also shows that, although 78% of people say they think they have a good memory, 57% find it difficult to remember important dates and appointments, from anniversaries and birthdays to dentist appointments and the tax return deadline. To help coach people  to recall credit products and providers, the FCA has enlisted the support of eight-time World Memory Champion, Dominic O’Brien. Dominic joins the FCA’s ‘Pressure’s on Panel’ of PPI deadline campaign ambassadors, sharing his top memory prompt methods – such as the ‘time travel technique’ – to help jog the nation’s memory.

Dominic O’Brien, eight-time World Memory Champion and author said: “The ‘time travel’ technique is a powerful tool to ‘transport’ yourself back to remember key financial milestones in the nineties and noughties and help prompt whether you bought anything on credit. Close your eyes and return to a location that you frequented during the time period in question. Choose a specific starting point such as bridge over a stream or a friend’s kitchen and ask yourself what incidents that triggers. One memory sparks off another. The deeper you immerse yourself and reflect, the greater the chances that more memories will be triggered leading you to remember key events and milestones.”

Alongside Dominic and the star of the PPI deadline campaign ads, ‘Animatronic Arnie’, the ‘Pressure’s on Panel’ also features 90s fitness icon, Mr Motivator, who is providing support in jogging people’s memory ahead of the 29 August 2019 deadline.

Consumers who haven’t complained to their provider by 29 August 2019 won’t be able to claim money back for PPI. FCA support is available online at fca.org.uk/ppi or by calling the FCA helpline on 0800 101 8800.

Dominic O’Brien’s top memory prompt methods

1) Remembering numbers

Get into the habit of coding information such as telephone numbers using mental pictures.  For example, to remember the number 0800 101 8800 – the FCA PPI helpline – imagine your alarm clock waking you at 08:00. You switch on the TV and watch 101 Dalmatians. In the kitchen a couple of egg-timers, 88 are timing a couple of boiling eggs 00. Now you know the FCA PPI helpline.

2) The journey method

To remember a shopping list of items, use a series of stages or stops along a well-trodden familiar route or journey. Picture washing the Traffic Lights with Detergent, a crate of milk has smashed at the Market Square, Bananas are thrown from the roof of the Town Hall, instead of books, the Library is stocked with sacks of Potatoes, a Chicken is laying an Egg in the Alleyway, and so on.

3) Memory and time travel

To help recall episodes from the past you can use the ‘Time Travel’ technique. It works by closing your eyes and returning to a location that conjures a variety of recollections such as an old friend’s house, your school or village you left a while ago. Choose a specific starting point such as bridge over a stream, a friend’s kitchen, a park bench. What incidents are triggered? One memory sparks off another. What was your state of mind at the time? The deeper you immerse yourself and reflect, the greater the chances that more memories will be triggered.

4) Remembering names

Most of us are naturals at recognising faces but have trouble matching the right names to them. One trick is to imagine a person performing their name in some way. For example, if I meet someone call Mrs Walker, I may imagine her as being an outdoor type and picture her with a walking stick. Association comes into play – some feature that neatly connects to their name. Think ‘Sean’ with short-cropped hair, or ‘Fred’ sporting a Freddie Mercury moustache.

5) Roman room method

When trying to memorise items on a tray and identifying a missing object, the trick is to link each item to a particular household object or piece of furniture related to the room you are in. For example, if you’re playing the game in your sitting room and you’re trying to remember car keys, picture the car keys resting on the Mantelpiece. It should then be easier to retrace your steps and find the missing item.

Notes to editors

  1. On 1 April 2013, the FCA became responsible for the conduct supervision of all regulated financial firms and the prudential supervision of those not supervised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).
  2. The FCA has an overarching strategic objective of ensuring the relevant markets function well. To support this it has three operational objectives: to secure an appropriate degree of protection for consumers; to protect and enhance the integrity of the UK financial system; and to promote effective competition in the interests of consumers.
  3. Find out more information about the FCA.

More information

*Research carried out by Censuswide on behalf of the FCA with 2,000 UK consumers, between 8 July 2019 and 10 July 2019

**Respondents chose from six options, including a ‘none of the above’ option, and this figure is based on those who selected at least one of the options other than ‘none of the above’.

***ONS 2016 figures estimate the 16+ UK population at 53,240,571. 42% of this equals 22,361,040 (or just over 22 million)

Full FCA PPI Contact Centre opening hours from 5​​​​​​​ August 

  • 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday
  • 8am to 5pm Saturday
  • 8am to 8pm on bank holiday Monday 26 August