A survey by Canary Claims reveals that most UK citizens DO NOT read the terms and conditions when signing a financial agreement. What does this mean for future financial scandals?
A recent survey by Canary Claims discovered that only 30% of the UK read the terms and conditions when signing a financial agreement. While thousands of people hurry to make PPI claims before the upcoming deadline in 2019, could this figure indicate that the banks could get away with another financial scandal like the ongoing PPI saga in the future?
There are terms and conditions (T&Cs) for everything these days. From accessing free WiFi to buying a house, everything has some form of regulations and small print which customers need to be aware of.
But, how many people really read every word? Do we understand it all? Focusing on financial agreements, Canary Claims wanted to find out and look at the consequences if people don’t bother to read all the T&Cs.
What Did the Results Uncover?
The survey asked 1279 people ‘do you read all the terms and conditions when signing a financial agreement, such as opening a savings account?’
Worrying, only 32.6% answered ‘yes’. Just over 40% of respondents answered with a firm ‘no’, while 26% said ‘sometimes.’
Terms and conditions are crucially important when customers sign agreements, even more so with banks. The T&Cs detail important information such as interest rates, monthly payments, cancellation policies and much more.
When signing a financial agreement online, consumers will find that they will always have to tick a box saying they have read and understood the T&Cs, but it appears that most people aren’t doing this. Further research discovered that, online, people are less likely to read the terms and conditions.
The results show a huge difference depending on the age of the respondent. Those between age 18 and 24 are more likely not to read T&Cs, with only 25% answering ‘yes’ to reading the terms.
Alternatively, respondents over the age of 65 are the most likely to read T&Cs, with 45% saying they do read terms and 22% claiming they sometimes do.
Will This Mean a Repeat of the PPI Claims Scandal?
PPI was mis-sold in numerous ways to consumers during the height of the mis-selling scandal. Many of the banks sold the insurance without telling people the full T&Cs and what it covered. In the worst case scenarios, banks told customers that it was compulsory or added it without their consent. All of these reasons are why thousands of consumers have made PPI claims.
If most people don’t read the T&Cs, this type of scandal could happen again. While those over 65 have learnt to be wary of the banks and are more likely to read the T&Cs, the younger respondents to the survey aren’t.
It’s hardly surprising that many people don’t read the terms and conditions. Car insurance T&Cs can be longer than a novel. Websites such as Money Saving Expert offer a short brief about what financial products involve and the various terms involved. This means that some people may see reading the full T&Cs as unnecessary.
But, this could be perfect the opportunities for the banks to add a condition to a contract which catches consumers out. The UK banks don’t have a positive reputation when it comes to mis-selling products and making people aware of all of the terms and conditions. So, will it happen again? Will we face another situation like PPI claims?
We hope not, and we hope that terms and conditions will become shorter and more accessible for people to read before signing any contract.
Were you mis-sold PPI because of ill-explained terms and conditions? Canary Claims want you to reclaim PPI before the upcoming deadline. Let us find out if you had PPI today.