RegulationMay 29 2013

Fos complaints double as PPI claims soar

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ByMichael Trudeau

Complaints and enquiries to the Financial Ombudsman Service nearly doubled in the past year, new data reveal.

According to the Fos’ annual report for 2012/2013, the organisation took on 508,881 new cases in the year, representing a rise of 92 per cent compared to the previous year.

Payment protection insurance made up 74 per cent of all cases, with the number of PPI cases more than doubling the previous year to 378,699.

Large banking groups made up a larger proportion of all complaints received, with complaints regarding four of the UK’s largest banking groups accounting for 62 per cent of all complaints, up from 52 per cent in the previous year.

The ombudsman’s action brought about compensation in 49 per cent of cases.

Natalie Ceeney, chief ombudsman at the Fos, said: “We have seen a much stronger consumer voice in the last year, with people becoming more aware of their rights and less willing to put up with poor customer service.

“As levels of confidence in financial services have eroded, it is disappointing that we still haven’t seen any significant improvement in complaints handling. Too many financial businesses still seem unable to sort out problems themselves, without the ombudsman having to get involved.

“With complaint numbers doubling, this has been another challenging year for the ombudsman. And if customer dissatisfaction remains at these record levels, the challenges we face are likely to continue for the foreseeable future.”

The Fos told FTAdviser sister publication Financial Adviser that the number of mortgage-related complaints had risen by a quarter, up to 11,920 from 9,537 year-on-year.