Banks not to blame for PPI complaints hold up

Following comments in September from the Financial Ombudsman Service and the FCA that the way some banks are handling their complaints has attracted regulatory scrutiny, a BBA spokesman said banks were “continuing to improve their systems” but were being hampered by CMCs.

The spokesman said: “All banks have hired more staff to deal with the large numbers of complaints on this issue, but unfortunately the actions of some unscrupulous CMCs who refer huge numbers of complaints to the ombudsman, whether there are grounds to or not, mean that the system is being clogged up and that people with genuine complaints don’t always get the service they deserve.”

The spokesman reiterated former public commitments by banks to overhaul incentive structures for frontline staff that would see them move from a sales volumes culture to a customer service culture.

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His comments contradicted those of Natalie Ceeney, chief executive of Fos, who last week declared that banks were still so slow to respond to complaints that people have gone instead to CMCs. Fos also said that banks were pushing complaints back onto the ombudsman to deal with, delaying the compensation process by months.

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Julie Bayley, founder of Cumbria-based Eden Financial Planning, said she was “XXX” by the BBA’s response.

Ms Bayley has been working with some CMCs to help process complaints that have been kicked backed “into the long grass”.