The Financial Conduct Authority has delayed its decision on whether to set a deadline for customer complaints about payment protection insurance.
In August the regulator said it was considering a July 2019 cut-off for PPI claims and would decide before the end of 2016, but the decision has now been put back to the first three months of next year.
The FCA statement said: “The timetable was… subject to a number of variables including the extent and nature of the feedback received in response to the consultation. We committed to issue an update if we were likely to depart from the proposed dates.
“We have received a large amount of feedback and, given the importance of this matter, we are carefully considering the issues raised and will make a further announcement in Q1 2017.”
In the first six months of 2016 half of complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service were about PPI, while the scandal has cost the finance industry £40bn as of October.
Andie Stokoe, director of claims management company Allay, hoped the FCA would scrap the end date altogether.
He said: “This decision is great news for consumers and we hope that this is the first step towards an acceptance that it is entirely unacceptable to put an end date on PPI claims.
“If people are owed money they should not be forced to claim by a certain date, a consumer should always be entitled to recover what is rightfully theirs as the result of mis-selling.
“The PPI scandal has been, and continues to be, very badly handled by the banks and many people still do not realise that they are due a refund.”
He added: “The FCA consultation has evidently received a lot of feedback from consumers and professional bodies that are all in agreement that imposing a deadline is a decision that protects the banks and not the consumer. We fully agree that the public need more time to get their money back.
“We would hope that the volume of consumer and professional feedback received by the FCA will lead them to reconsider their position on imposing a PPI deadline when a decision is made in Q1 2017.”