Freshfields’ PPI judicial review rejected by court

The High Court has dismissed a judicial review launched by the British Bankers’  Association (BBA) against the FSA and Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) over the handling of payment protection insurance (PPI) claims.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partners David Scott and Simon Orton instructed Blackstone Chambers’ David Pannick QC and Charles Flint QC to act for claimant BBA in its challenge to the financial regulators.

The BBA had sought to force the FSA and FOS to reverse their position on the handling of PPI complaints.

In December the regulator introduced new guidelines on how PPI products should be sold, stating specifically that consumers should be talked through the key points of the policy.

It said those terms should be applied retrospectively meaning that consumers who were missold the product under the December guidance could bring claims against the banks.

The FSA said it had received more than 1.5 million complaints about PPI since 2005. On average banks have rejected some 60 per cent of PPI claims brought against them, although the FOS has gone on to uphold some complaints.

The High Court decision will mean that the banks will have to comply with the FSA guidelines and deal with misselling complaints made against them.

FSA general counsel Andrew Whittaker welcomed the ruling. “This is a significant decision,” he said. “The High Court firmly rejected the BBA’s argument and gave a strong victory to the FSA, to FOS and to consumers.”

SNR Denton partner Richard Caird instructed Michael Brindle QC of Fountain Court, Monica Carss-Frisk QC of Blackstone Chambers and Richard Coleman and Jamie McClelland of Fountain Court for the FSA.

Russell-Cooke Solicitors partner John Gould instructed 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square’s Hodge Malek QC and James Strachan for the FOS.

Herbert Smith partner Andrew Lidbetter instructed Blackstone Chambers’ Michael Fordham QC and Paul Luckhurst to act for Nemo Personal Finance.

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