Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) 

Removed Borrower Questions & Answers (Q&A)
 

We recently wrote to some customers regarding their mortgage account and a mistake we made on the associated PPI policy. In some cases, when an account holder with PPI cover was removed from the mortgage account, another account holder was added to the existing PPI policy and charged a premium. We are now refunding the premiums these customers were charged by mistake.

If you got this letter the following Q&A may help to answer any questions you might have.

 

What is PPI?

PPI is an optional insurance product that provides protection for mortgage repayments. It pays out money to help cover mortgage repayments for a period if the policy holder cannot work due to an accident, illness, involuntary unemployment or accident; or illness and hospitalisation if state or self-employed. Terms and conditions apply. The benefits payable depend on the cover selected;

  • Premier: Accident, Illness, Involuntary Unemployment/Hospitalisation benefit up to a maximum of 12 months.
  • Premier Gold 1: Accident, Illness, Involuntary Unemployment/Hospitalisation benefit up to a maximum of 12 months. Critical Illness cover & Permanent Total Disability cover up to a maximum of 24 months.
  • Premier Gold 2: Accident, Illness, Involuntary Unemployment/Hospitalisation benefit up to a maximum of 12 months. Lump sum payment up to €175,000 for Critical Illness Cover & Permanent Total Disability.

This product is underwritten by AXA France IARD S.A., trading as AXA Partners – Credit & Lifestyle Protection.

Who is eligible for this product?

The eligibility criteria for this product are as follows*:

  • You are aged between 18 and 65 for the duration of the policy;
  • You live and work in the Republic of Ireland;
  • You are in full-time employment (at least 18 hours per week) and have been working for at least 6 months immediately before you claim; and,
  • Your mortgage is on your principal primary residence.

*Please refer to your Terms and Conditions.

Why have I received this letter?

When an account holder with PPI cover was removed from your mortgage account we incorrectly assigned you, or another customer on the account, their PPI cover and continued to charge for it.

OR

When an account holder was removed from your mortgage account, we incorrectly charged you, or another customer on the account, for their PPI policy in addition to your own. When we identified this, we assigned the full PPI cover without consent, and continued to charge for this increased cover.

Another account holder received a refund but I did not. Why did I not receive a refund?

When a borrower with PPI cover was removed from your mortgage account we incorrectly assigned the removed borrower’s PPI cover and payment of their premium to the account holder who received the refund. We wrote to you to let you know about the mistake we made. If you believe you should have been issued a refund you can contact us using the details provided in your letter.

When did you find out about this issue?

We identified this mistake in June 2020. Since then we have carried out an investigation to identify all impacted accounts and to calculate any refund due to customers.

How are you correcting this mistake?

We are writing to each impacted customer and refunding any overpayments. Where the policy is still in place we are offering these customers the opportunity to keep or update the cover. We are also writing to any other customers on the account to let them know that we made a mistake which relates to their account.

Has this affected my credit record?

For most customers this mistake does not affect your credit record with the Irish Credit Bureau or the Central Bank of Ireland’s Central Credit Register. However, if your credit record is incorrect, we will correct it. You do not have to do anything.

How are you making sure this mistake doesn’t happen again?

The internal process which resulted in this mistake has been corrected.

Has the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) been informed of this mistake?

Yes, the CBI has been informed in line with our regulatory reporting obligations.

How have you calculated the refund?

The refund has been calculated as follows:

Total refund equals the amount of premiums overcharged and includes compensatory interest. 

  • We have included a cheque lodgement fee of €1 to cover any cost of lodging the refund cheque.
  • Where PPI premiums were previously refunded, we have not refunded them again.
  • Where the refund amount due was less than €5 we have paid a minimum refund of €5.

What is compensatory interest?

Compensatory interest is interest paid by us, to the impacted customer for not having access to the money that they overpaid.

What are PPI arrears?

PPI arrears refers to any arrears amount on the mortgage account which is directly related to PPI. In some cases we have used your refund to reduce or clear this amount.

Where applicable, any residual refund was sent by cheque.

I have an active PPI policy. Do I need to do anything now?

If you received a PPI declaration form with your letter, you need to complete and return this to us so we can provide you with the correct level of cover that you require.

If you did not receive a PPI declaration form, you don’t need to do anything.  

I have been offered the opportunity to keep or cancel the PPI cover. What do I need to do now?

We enclosed a PPI declaration form in the letter you received which you need to complete and return to us by 22 February 2021.

If you would like to keep the PPI cover, please complete Option 1. If you would like to cancel the PPI cover, please complete Option 2. The completed declaration form should be returned to us in the prepaid envelope which you received. If we do not receive the declaration form by 22 February 2021, we will cancel your cover for you.

Before you make your decision please check the eligibility criteria. If you do not meet the criteria it may affect your ability to make a claim. You should also consider any other protection policies you might have such as income protection, critical illness cover or employer benefits which may cover your financial outgoings if you were unable to work. 

Your refund includes the PPI premium for December 2020, January 2021 and February 2021.

I have the opportunity to keep my current level of PPI cover or to reduce it to the level I had previously asked for. What do I need to do now?

To provide you with the correct level of cover that you require, we ask that you complete and return the PPI declaration form you received with your letter by 26 January 2021.

If you want to keep your current level of cover of 100%, please complete Option 1. Your monthly PPI premium will remain the same. If you want to reduce your cover to 50% which is the level you had asked for previously, please complete Option 2. Your monthly PPI premium will be reduced to 50% of your current premium.

The completed declaration form should be returned to us in the prepaid envelope which you received in your letter. If we do not receive the declaration form by 26 January 2021, we will reduce your cover to 50%. 

Your refund includes the PPI overcharge for December 2020 and January 2021.

I want to change my PPI policy. How do I do that?

You can amend your PPI policy at any time. If you want to change your cover you can send us a written request at the following address;

EBS Insurance Team,
2 Burlington Road,
Dublin 4,
D04 WV00

My PPI policy is closed. Do I need to do anything now?

No, you don’t need to do anything as a result of receiving this letter. 

Can I cancel my PPI policy?

Yes, PPI is optional, you can cancel it at any time by sending us a written request at the following address;

EBS Insurance Team,
2 Burlington Road,
Dublin 4,
D04 WV00

Please note that a cancellation instruction must be signed by all policyholders. PPI is no longer sold in the Republic of Ireland (ROI).

If I cancel my policy/my policy is no longer active, what alternative protection can I get?

If you are concerned about no longer having this protection, you may benefit from a review of your protection needs with either an independent financial advisor, or one of our EBS Advisors to help you make any decisions. If you would like to talk to an EBS Advisor, please contact us or visit www.ebs.ie/insurance/financial-review. You may not be able to take out another PPI policy, as Mortgage PPI is no longer sold in ROI. You can however take out other protection policies, such as income protection or critical illness cover which may cover your financial outgoings if you were unable to work.

My mortgage is nearly finished its term – what happens to my PPI?

Once your mortgage has reached its end date, your policy will end and no further PPI premiums will be charged.

I was not aware I had this policy and as such I did not make a claim when I became sick/unemployed etc. Can I make that claim now?

PPI is provided by AXA Partners. You will need to contact them to find out if you can make a claim now.  Contact details for AXA are in your letter.

Who can I speak to if I have a question or want to complain?

If you have a question or want to complain please contact us on 0818 664 014. You can also complain to the Financial Services & Pensions Ombudsman (FSPO). The FSPO seeks to resolve complaints through mediation, or through investigation and adjudication. Information about the services of the FSPO is available from www.fspo.ie.