UK watchdog takes legal action over Barclays PPI breach
Following an investigation into PPI by the Competition Commission in 2011, one of the measures introduced in an Order was that customers should receive an annual reminder from their provider setting out clearly how much they had paid in, and their right to cancel the policy.
In the period from October 2016 – October 2017, Barclays failed to provide a reminder to 2,265 Littlewoods credit card PPI customers. It attributed the breach to a technical problem in transferring the customers to its computer system.
Following that breach, Barclays wrote to all affected customers, providing a reminder of their right to cancel the policy and the offer of a refund. From this communication, it has so far paid out almost £336,000 in refunds to customers.
The CMA says this is not the first time Barclays has breached the Order, having reported several substantive breaches to the CMA in 2015 for not providing annual reminders to almost 10,000 PPI customers.
Adam Land, the CMA’s senior director of remedies, business and financial analysis, says: “We now require assurances from Barclays they have now put adequate systems in place to prevent a similar breach from occurring again.”
However, the watchdog does not currently have the power to impose financial penalties for breaches of this kind. All bark, no bite it seems.
The CMA says it has called for such powers to “increase incentives for businesses to comply with market and merger remedies and to rectify any breaches quickly”.
In a separate development, last month, Barclays was left battered and bruised in figures from the UK’s Current Account Switch Service (CASS).
In Q1 2018, it came out worst with the loss of 17,628 accounts. Close behind were Lloyds and the Co-op with 14,114 and 14,108 losses respectively.