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Customers who were mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) by lenders have only a few hours left to make their claims as one of the UK’s biggest financial scandals draws to a close.

PPI was designed to cover loan repayments should the borrower fall ill or lose their jobs, but it was mis-sold by banks and loan providers – mainly between 1990 and 2010 – to people who did not need them or would not be covered.

Banks have paid out £36bn in compensation since the floodgates opened in 2011, when lenders lost a legal battle to stop a review of past sales practices.

The deadline for submitting a claim is 23:59 tonight (Thursday), and banks have set aside another £3bn or so to deal with the final flurry of complaints.

But customers wishing to lodge a late claim have reported problems doing so.

Santander’s online complaints form stopped working on Wednesday night, while Natwest’s form has also experienced “intermittent” glitches.

There have also been reports of long waits to reach banks by phone amid a surge of last-minute calls.

Santander apologised for the inconvenience and said the problem had been fixed, although it added it would still consider claims submitted after the deadline if a customer had been affected.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (LON:RBS), which owns Natwest, advised customers to reload the webpage.

Along with Barclays PLC (LON:BARC), RBS admitted there have been long waiting on their PPI phone lines as the deadline nears.

Shares in London banking stocks were all higher on Thursday, with investors no doubt pleased to see the back of a costly scandal that further rocked the nation’s confidence in the financial system.

Barclays share rose 1.1% to 137.6p, RBS added 0.8% to 14p, while Lloyds Banking Group PLC (LON:LLOY) edged 0.5% higher to 49.7p.