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SRA warns solicitors over conduct of PPI claims

Claims should be valid and advice provided must represent value for money, says regulator

29 August 2017

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Law firms have been warned that applications for mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) must be made by the book amid concerns that some solicitors are not adhering to the rules and are falling below the high standards the regulator and the public expect of them.

With two years to go until the deadline for PPI claims, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has once again reminded the profession of its responsibilities when helping the public seek PPI compensation.

The SRA says it has received reports of solicitors acting in matters without first investigating whether there is a valid claim and also made claims without the knowledge of the client.

Also of concern are reports that solicitors have failed to properly identify clients and confirm client instructions; submitted false claims in the hope of a settlement without further investigation by the lender; and charged unreasonable costs for a limited amount of work.

The SRA’s warning notice also reminds solicitors they should ensure that claims they are handling have not been brought through cold calling.

Paul Philip (pictured), the regulator’s 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 SRA’s notice follows a similar warning published by the regulator in 2012.

The regulator has told the profession that the Code of Conduct obliges solicitors to make sure claims are valid and that the advice they provide represents value for money.

The Financial Conduct Authority has set the cut-off date for PPI claims as 29 August 2019.

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