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Financial Conduct Authority has put a deadline in place for claims of PPI mis-selling against major UK banksGetty Images, Reuters

If you feel you have been mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) in the past, industry regulator Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) finally has a deadline in place for a claim to be filed by – 29 August, 2019.

Over the past half-decade, millions of people have received compensation following one of the biggest scandals in banking, with banks having set aside more than £45bn ($55bn, €52.5bn) to cover the compensation claims to date.

PPI was designed as vehicle to cover loan repayments if the policyholder was unable to make payments on account of ill health or if they lost their job. The first policies surfaced in the early 1990s, with nearly 50m policies sold over the next 20 years.

However, around 2009-2010 allegations of aggressive mis-selling of PPI by banks began to surface, with many policies sold to people who did not want or need it or would not be eligible to claim on it anyway.

While it is believed that many more claimants could yet come forward, the FCA says its two-year public awareness campaign aimed at flushing out the remaining complainants, should draw the line under the scandal.

In a statement, Andrew Bailey, chief executive of the FCA, said: "Putting in place a deadline and campaign will mean people who were potentially mis-sold PPI will be prompted to take action rather than put it off.

"We believe that two years is a reasonable time for consumers to decide whether they wish to make a complaint."

However, consumer groups criticised the FCA's deadline. Martin Lewis, founder of Moneysavingexpert, feels the move is a mistake.

"In over half of all cases where – after the bank rejects a PPI reclaim – people take it to the independent ombudsman, and have the bank's rejection overturned.

"Until we can trust banks to deal with complaints fairly in the first instance, this move to protect their balance sheets should not happen. It is putting the protection of the financial industry ahead of consumers."

Data published by the Financial Ombudsman Service in February suggests it received 78,000 new PPI complaints in the six months to December 2016.