Clydesdale Bank fined £20.7m
The way that the bank have failed customers concerning their handling of payment protection insurance complaints is bad enough, but it turns out they also tried to mislead the City regulator, which is not on. The Financial Conduct Authority said the penalty was the largest they've doled out regarding PPI bother.
The FCA said that this fine partly reflected "inappropriate policies" introduced in 2011 by Clydesdale which resulted in PPI complaint handlers "not taking into account all relevant documents when deciding how to deal with complaints."
The statement said: "In addition, between May 2012 and June 2013, Clydesdale provided false information to the Financial Ombudsman Service in response to requests for evidence of the records Clydesdale held on PPI policies sold to individual customers."
"A team within Clydesdale’s PPI complaint handling operation altered certain system print outs (in a small number of cases) to make it look as if Clydesdale held no relevant documents and deleted all PPI information from a separate print out listing the products sold to the customer."
"These practices were not known to or authorised by Clydesdale’s PPI leadership team or more senior management."
Thanks to all this, the watchdog said that, thanks to Clydesdale's shenanigans, of the 126,600 PPI complaints they oversaw between May 2011 and July 2013, around 42,000 of them could well have been unfairly thrown out and up to 50,900 upheld complaints may have paid out too little.
Good news if you're a Clydesdale customer who has been affected, as the bank will be getting in touch to smooth everything over and sort it out. Hopefully, that'll mean some money in your account.
Acting chief executive of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, Debbie Crosbie, said: "In 2011 we introduced changes to our policies and procedures that were designed to help us respond to PPI complaints. A number of these changes were inappropriate and have disadvantaged some of our customers. We got this wrong and I am sorry for that."
"We deeply regret any instance which led to the Financial Ombudsman Service receiving incorrect or incomplete information from us. These practices were not authorised or condoned by the Banks. As soon as this issue was discovered, we took immediate steps to stop it; we made the regulator aware and rapidly introduced strict new monitoring procedures to prevent any recurrence."