Complaints made by Lloyds Banking Group to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have been rejected by the ad watchdog.
Claims on www.lloydstsb-ppi.co.uk stated: “We specialise in Lloyds TSB PPI claims for people who have taken out PPI with Lloyds TSB Loan or Lloyds TSB Credit Card and have a 99% success rate for winning claims for Clients who have been mis-sold PPI. We Guarantee to never charge upfront fees and to work on a completely commission only basis. So if you don’t receive money back it won’t cost you a penny our average client is awarded over £6,000 and some receive over £30,000”.
Lloyds Banking Group challenged whether the following claims were misleading and could be substantiated: firstly, “[We] have a 99% success rate for winning claims for Clients who have been mis-sold PPI”; and secondly, “our average client is awarded over £6,000 and some receive over £30,000”.
Regarding the first point, Professional Personal Claims Ltd explained that they had stringent procedures in place to avoid accepting PPI claims that would be unsuccessful. Nonetheless, for a number of reasons, such as clients forgetting they had previously claimed for compensation or had cancelled their PPI during the cooling off period, slightly less than 1% of the claims they had undertaken had failed. They provided the ASA with a list of both the successful and unsuccessful cases.
On the second complaint, Professional Personal Claims said they actively sought to attract clients who had taken out substantial loans from PPI providers that had traditionally charged high single PPI premiums, and they also avoided accepting potential clients if they believed the amount of compensation that was likely to be awarded was insufficient to justify their involvement. Therefore, the average client award was likely to be comparatively large.
They provided a list of their client compensation awards, which showed that the average compensation award was a little over £6,000. The list also included a number of clients who received over £30,000 in compensation. They believed that the evidence substantiated the claim “our average client is awarded over £6,000 and some receive over £30,000”.
On Lloyds’ first complaint, the ASA understood that Professional Personal Claims only accepted cases that they believed would succeed and because of their vetting procedures less than 1% of the cases handled had failed. It noted the evidence they provided and considered that it substantiated the claim that they had a 99% success rate for winning claims for clients who had been mis-sold PPI and was therefore unlikely to mislead.
On this point, the ASA investigated the claim under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 (Substantiation), but did not find it in breach.
On the second point, the extensive list of compensation awards provided by Professional Personal Claims showed the amounts their clients received in compensation had varied, but the average pay-out was around £6,000. The list also confirmed a number of their clients had received over £30,000 and, in a couple of cases, significantly more.
The ASA said it was satisfied that the evidence supported the claim and, because it was clear that the higher figure only applied to some clients and was not a normal pay-out, it concluded that the claim had been substantiated and was not misleading.