Blackhorse and other lenders have employed delaying tactics in order to avoid processing historical claims for mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI), according to the Alliance of Claims Companies (ACC).

Simon Evans, head of the ACC, revealed that the number of PPI claims Blackhorse reported it could not find details for had increased significantly in the first four months of this year.

He told Motor Finance: “These figures across lenders are rising, but Blackhorse Finance, in that particular instance, rose from 0% in January 2017 up to 80% in April, 2017.”

Evans said that PPI claims companies have a ‘pre-submission’ stage for claims in which they contact the lender. Lenders are expected to respond by confirming whether or not the customer has PPI, or claiming that they cannot find the customer’s details.

He said:Across the board we’ve seen this rise in the insistence in the first stage [of pre-submission] that they are unable to locate the customers.”

Evans said that lenders caused further confusion for customers by presenting the ‘missing’ details at the next round of pre-submission for PPI claims, much later than the initial enquiry.

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Evans added: “This is where our concern lies. It is essentially a tactic we believe, by the lenders, to lengthen the process, to discourage consumers and claims management companies, and to wriggle out of their obligation to redress customers who were mis-sold PPI.”

Blackhorse declined to comment.