2nd September 2014
Lloyds Banking Group was the most complained about financial services company in the first half of this year, new data reveals.
The state-backed bank, which also owns the Halifax and Bank of Scotland brands, was responsible for a third of the total number of new complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service, the body set up to handle disputes between financial companies and customers.
There were 62,132 complaints about Lloyds out of a total 191,129 across the financial services industry between January and the end of June this year.
Barclays received the second highest number of complaints at 27,487, followed by Royal Bank of Scotland with 13,654.
Aviva received the highest number of complaints of any insurer with 1,384.
Complaints about payment protection insurance (PPI) still dominated the Ombudsman’s workload with an average of 733 new cases per day in the first half of this year.
It received 133,819 complaints about PPI between January and June this year – a figure which represented 70 per cent of its total workload of 191,129 new cases.
The total number of cases referred to the ombudsman about financial products other than PPI, was 3 per cent higher than the second half of the at 57,310 compared to 55,747. This included a 7 per cent increase in banking complaints and a 1 per cent rise in insurance cases.
On average the Ombudsman found in favour of the consumer in 57 per cent of cases, up from 51 per cent during the previous six months.
Caroline Wayman, the chief ombudsman, says: “Responsibility for sorting out the mass mis-sale of PPI is still the major part of the ombudsman’s workload. But during the first half of 2014 there’s been a marked change in the type of complaints consumers are asking us to resolve – as underlying attitudes become more entrenched and the issues involved get more complex.
“We’re seeing more and more people turn to us in frustration where they feel their bank or insurer simply doesn’t understand or really care. And we’re hearing growing dissatisfaction from people about being processed industrially as a number rather than being listened to as an individual customer.”
Wayman says banks could do more to address complaints themselves and prevent cases reaching the Ombudsman.
She says: “By giving their customers more thoughtful, considerate and personal responses – clearly setting out the reasoning behind an individual decision – we know that businesses can help sort out problems earlier on, prevent complaints being escalated to the ombudsman and rebuild trust and confidence more generally.”
Last week it was revealed that those who have already received compensation for payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling may be due more money as 2.5 million cases are reviewed.
The City watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has announced banks, credit card providers and personal loan companies have agreed to reassess more than 2.5 million PPI complaints from 2012 and 2013 which may have been unfairly rejected or paid too little compensation to.
The PPI scandal has been ongoing for a number of years and over the past three years £16 billion has been paid out in compensation.