Consumers who think they have been mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) have been urged to approach the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) direct rather than through a claims management firm.
The reminder comes after the FSCS calculated consumers could lose over £12 million to such firms in the coming financial year as a result of handing over responsibility for handling their claim.
Recent research by the compensation scheme revealed that over three quarters of people use claims management companies to apply for FSCS compensation from failed firms.
With around 16,500 claims for mis-sold PPI from failed firms being anticipated over the next year, upwards of 12,300 are expected to be made via a claims management firm.
As figures from 2008 to 2011 show the average FSCS payment to consumers through claims management companies is £4,534, and the companies take up to 25% of the pay-out, it is estimated that potential claimants could pay more than £12.6 million in 2012/13.
If consumers want to receive their full entitlement, the FSCS said they should approach them direct.
Between 2008 and 2011, just over £77.5 million has been paid out by the FSCS for PPI claims.
Given the expected volume of claims, however, the scheme believes it could pay out around £70 million in PPI compensation in 2012/13 alone.
"The amount consumers pay to claims management companies for handling their case is sizeable," said Mark Neale, chief executive of the FSCS.
"Claims management companies take a significant part of the possible pay-out and are no more likely to make a successful claim than consumers can on their own.
"People can save thousands by submitting their claims directly to the FSCS, rather than through a third party.
"While it may seem reassuring to have someone else do the paperwork, consumers should not be daunted by the process of making a claim.
"Claiming compensation from the FSCS is free and simple. If consumers have any concerns there is always someone on hand to help."
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