Sipp complaints fall almost 40%: Fos

Sipp complaints fall almost 40%: Fos

Complaints about self-invested personal pensions have fallen by 37 per cent in the last 12 months, despite regulators predicting there would be a rise in these complaints.

Last year FTAdviser reported that Sipp complaints had risen to 241 from April to June, compared with 132 in the same period in 2013, with a Fos spokesperson stating the increase was down to more complaints being brought by an unnamed complaints management company/legal firm and the majority of complaints are about the advice to invest in unregulated funds via a Sipp.

It was widely expected that complaints would explode with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme warning the industry could face an interim levy purely due to the risk of increased compensation claims from complaints regarding Sipps.

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But it now appears Sipp complaints have slowed down.

Data published today (27 January) by the Financial Ombudsman Service revealed that in the three months to end of December 2014, there were 247 complaints made about Sipps (59 per cent uphold rate), compared to 393 (55 per cent uphold rate) in the same period in 2013.

Meanwhile, mortgage complaints increased by almost 18 per cent to 3,791 complaints in Q4 2014 compared to the last three months of 2013 and became the joint second most complained about financial product alongside bank accounts.

Complaints about portfolio management also increased by around 21 per cent to 369 complaints, of which 51 per cent were upheld. A third of these complaints were upheld, similar to a year ago.

Income protection complaints stayed stable at 334, with an uphold rate of 34 per cent, whereas critical illness complaints increased to 278, a 27 per cent jump on the Q4 2013 figure. However, only 20 per cent of complaints were upheld, compared to a quarter in the last three months of 2013.

In total, consumers referred a total of 74,357 new complaints about financial businesses to the Fos in the last three months of last year, of which 48,516 were complaints about payment protection insurance.

During the quarter the proportion of complaints the Fos upheld in favour of consumers ranged between 85 per cent (for card protection insurance complaints) and 3 per cent (for complaints about state earnings-related pensions). The PPI uphold rate for the year to date is 59 per cent.