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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Arnie's back: Terminator star urges Britons to make claims over wrongly sold insurance

In a new television spot Schwarzenegger's disembodied head urges people to make up their minds about filing a PPI claim before the deadline

Arnold Schwarzenegger's head stars in a new TV spot designed to help Britons make their minds up over making PPI claims before deadline. Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters
Arnold Schwarzenegger's head stars in a new TV spot designed to help Britons make their minds up over making PPI claims before deadline. Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

UK banks may face more claims for wrongly sold insurance as the country’s markets regulator steps up an informational campaign featuring an animatronic head of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Misleading some customers in selling as many as 64 million payment protection insurance policies has cost Britain’s banks dearly. More than £29 billion (Dh149.87bn) has been paid back to customers who complained, according to the Financial Conduct Authority. Lloyds Banking Group alone has set aside £18.7bn for claims.

In a new television spot airing on Wednesday, the Terminator star’s disembodied head, mounted on a remote-control car with tank treads, urges people waiting at a bus stop to make up their minds about filing a PPI claim before the deadline of August 29, 2019. Since a first advertisement ran last August, the FCA has received about 17,000 calls to its helpline, and 900,000 people have visited its website for information.

“Since we launched our campaign, the largest firms have told us that the proportion of people complaining to them directly has increased,” FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey said. “This may in part be due to the improvements we asked firms to make to their complaint-handling processes.”

Lloyds isn’t the only lender feeling the pinch. Royal Bank of Scotland has made provisions of £5.1bn for PPI claims, according to its 2017 annual report. Barclays had recognised cumulative provisions against PPI claims totalling £9.2bn as of December 31, its annual report shows.

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The FCA said PPI was sold with a range of products, such as car finance, catalogue credit, credit cards and mortgages. The ads will run on television, radio, social media, video on demand and outdoor advertising, including at bus stops.

Schwarzenegger, 70, is on the mend after the former Mr Olympia and actor underwent heart surgery, according to reports this week.

“It’s true: I’m back!” he wrote on his profile on Twitter on Monday, thanking his team of doctors and nurses after the operation.