Drop in Isa, pension and investment complaints: FCA

Financial services firms received 2,183,540 new complaints during the last six months of 2014, figures from the FCA have revealed.

Overall complaints fell seven per cent compared with the previous six months and 12 per cent compared with the same period last year.

Complaints received by providers about personal pensions and freestanding voluntary contributions (FSAVCs) totalled 23,534, a decrease of 19.3 per cent when compared with the previous six months.

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Endowments accounted for 21,391 complaints, a drop of 20.3 per cent during the same period.

Other life and pensions products accounted for 14,728 complaints, a drop of 15.5 per cent.

If complaints about payment protection insurance (PPI) had been excluded, overall complaints increased by 1 per cent to 1,124,622 between the first and second halves of 2014 and by 2 per cent when compared with the same period in 2013.

The FCA said this increase was mainly caused by an 8 per cent rise in the number of complaints relating to banking and credit cards over the six months to the end of December. All other product categories showed decreases in the period.

The most complained about bank was Barclays, which received 276,626 complaints, a fall of 1 per cent on the previous six months.

Christopher Woolard, director of strategy and competition for the City watchdog said the statistics offered a mixed picture.

He said: “When you take PPI out of the equation, complaints are still on the up. So, while the overall decreases we have seen should be welcomed, there is still more for financial services firms to do. The FCA’s challenge to those firms is to put the necessary measures in place to ensure we see a consistent fall across all sectors.”

Key points

The total redress paid rose 4 per cent to £2.44bn in the second half of 2014, from £2.34bn in the first half of the year.

Just under 90 per cent of this amount (£2.15bn) related to general insurance and pure protection products, which include PPI.

Redress paid in relation to banking and credit card products increased by 64 per cent to £145m between July and December.

This constituted 6 per cent of the total redress paid in the last six months of the year against 4 per cent in the previous period.

Source: FCA

Adviser view:

Alan Solomons, a director of Alpha Investments & Financial Planning in London, said: “I believe endowment complaints have gone down because advisers do not tend to recommend them to clients. A breakdown of IFA and bank-sold products would be interesting.”