Life Insurance  

Pru leads the way in Fos pensions complaints

Pru leads the way in Fos pensions complaints

Prudential has received the most new life and pensions complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service over the last six months, while Barclays Bank led the way in the investments section.

The ombudsman’s latest six-monthly complaints data, published today (24 February) showed that Prudential Assurance received 280 new life, pensions and decumulation complaints during the period, however this has fallen 15 per cent when compared to the first half of last year.

For the life, pensions and decumulation category, following Prudential were Phoenix Life with 232 complaints (109 in H1), Aviva Life and Pensions at 212 (230 in H1) and Legal and General Assurance with 161 (175 in H1).

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Regarding the adviser sector, Sesame led the way in complaints receiving 142 in the last six months of last year, compared to 197 in the previous six months. This was followed by Openwork who received 82 complaints (73 in H1), St James’s Place received 42 complaints (77 in H1) and Personal Touch received 35 complaints (55 in H1).

The figures also showed that the ombudsman took on a total of 161,649 new cases in the second half of 2014.

Of the total cases referred, payment protection insurance made up two thirds (65 per cent) – with a total of 104,877 new PPI complaints.

For complaints about financial products other than PPI, the total number of cases referred to the ombudsman remained at a similar level throughout the year (57,310 in the first half of the year compared to 56,771 in the second).

However, banking complaints increased by 8 per cent and investment cases by 4 per cent.

The average uphold rate (where the ombudsman found in the consumer’s favour) over the six-month period was half (52 per cent), ranging from 4 to 98 per cent across the individual businesses.

Caroline Wayman, the chief ombudsman, said: “In areas outside PPI, we continue to see many entrenched disputes that could have been avoided. We’re also hearing dissatisfaction from people where their problems started with a simple misunderstanding.

“On these occasions, problems could often have been cleared up much earlier, if there had been better communication between the financial business and their customer.”

She added that it will take time to rebuild people’s trust and confidence in the financial sector, but a first step towards this is for all businesses to show they have dealt with their customers’ complaints thoughtfully and with care.

“This is why we share what we see with businesses to help them understand our approach, while at the same time keeping fairness at the heart of what we do.”

peter.walker@ft.com

Additional reporting by Donia O’Loughlin