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Why give 30 per cent of your payout to a claims handler when you can keep all the money for yourself?

Phil Cameron received a £10,500 repayment for mis-sold payment protection insurance from the Halifax and all he did was send them a letter.

The 50-year-old from Doncaster took out a mortgage in 1989 and – following all the publicity about mis-selling – decided to check his original contract.

It included PPI at a cost of £15 a month, which in later years rose to £22 a month.

Phil wrote a letter to Halifax saying he felt the insurance had been mis-sold since he never asked for it – and the bank sent him a cheque for the full amount plus eight per cent interest.

He said: “I’d say to anyone to check their financial products. And deal with the bank direct.”

Nationally, payouts for mis-sold PPI have passed £10bn but are expected to hit £17bn.

By May this year – the latest date for which the FCA has provided figures – the total had reached £10.468 billion.

Since the start of 2011, the cost of compensating customers who were mis-sold PPI products has raced ahead of banks’ initial estimates. Provisions against PPI payouts are now believed to total £17.9 billion, of which £15.1 billion has been set aside by the four major UK banks – Lloyds (£7.3 billion), Barclays (£4 billion), HSBC (£1.6 billion) and RBS (£2.2 billion). Nor is there any sign of the pace slowing down. Not only have average payouts per month stubbornly refused to fall, but also the average number of complaints is still high.

In April to June this year, the Financial Ombudsman Service received 132,152 PPI complaints, compared with 133,826 the quarter before, and a total owf 378,669 for the full year to March 2013.

These figures represent complaints originally rejected by the bank – but 62 per cent of them are ultimately resolved in the customer’s favour, the Ombudsman said. The banks themselves also continue to receive massive numbers. In the first half of the year, Barclays said, it received 360,000 complaints, compared with 1.1 million in 2011 and 2012 combined.

Barclays admitted that it had underestimated the scale of the problem in its most recent results announcement. While the number of complaints had dropped from its peak in 2012, it said, ‘the rate of decline has been less than previously expected’ and many more complaints would be referred to the Ombudsman.