25th September 2014
Barclays and Bank of Scotland were the two most complained about firms in the first half of the year according to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Between January and June this year the City watchdog found that Barclays notched up a hefty 278,426 customer complaints although this represented a 10% fall in the number of registered grievances since the second half of 2013. In contrast complaints against Bank of Scotland shot up by a hefty 46% over the same period to 265,640.
Lloyds felt a 3% increase to 264,115, while disagreements with NatWest dropped 20% to 140,342 and gripes with Santander eased back 13% to 135,611.
The FCA said that overall complaints against financial firms decreased by 5% from the 2,493,729 received in the previous six months.
FCA director of policy, risk and research, Christopher Woolard, said: “It’s important that firms now get on top of the issues that are driving complaints. Although it’s encouraging to see the total number of complaints fall, there is clearly further work to be done to ensure that consumer interests come first.”
In terms of products, accusations against payment protection insurance (PPI) – insurance designed to help those who took out loans – remains the most complained about product, with 1,236,899 complaints. This accounted for 52% of all complaints and 78% of complaints about general insurance and pure protection products.
The total amount of redress paid fell by 12% from £2.65bn in the second half of 2013 to £2.34bn in the first half of 2014. This was largely due to a 17% fall in the number of complaints closed about general insurance and pure protection products, including PPI, which made up 89% of all redress payments in the first half of 2014.
Complaints against banks and building societies accounted for 66% of all complaints in the first half of 2014, followed by 13% against general insurance intermediaries and 8% against other insurers.
The top five most complained about firms, in terms of the number of complaints received in the first half of 2014, were:
The top five most complained about products and services:
By product group, the firms with the largest number of complaints:
Home finance (mortgages and equity release products)
General insurance and pure protection (including payment protection insurance)
Decumulation, Life and Pensions