Regulation  

Sesame remains top of Fos complaints list

Sesame remains top of Fos complaints list

Sesame is once again Fos’s most-complained about advice firm.

Fos data has shown that between 1 January and 30 June this year there were 172 complaints against Sesame - although only 27 per cent of these were upheld.

This was also an increase on the previous six-month period when only 142 complaints were submitted to Fos relating to the network.

Openwork was the second most-complained about advice company, with 111 complaints, of which 25 per cent were upheld.

According to the data, the company which had most new complaints to Fos in the first half of 2015 was Bank of Scotland, with 20,288.

In total the ombudsman took on a total of 173,994 new cases in the first half of 2015 – an overall increase of 8 per cent on the previous period.

Of these cases PPI made up more than half, with 94,091 new complaints – a 10 per cent fall on the previous six-month period.

The average uphold rate over the period was 57 per cent.

Fos’ chief ombudsman Caroline Wayman said: “It’s been seven years since the ombudsman first began to publish data about individual financial businesses.

“Nobody wants ‘another PPI’. This is why we are working closely with businesses, claims companies and their regulators, to make sure that lessons are learned to prevent anything like that happening again.”

1 Jan - 30 Jun 20151 Jan - 30 Jun 2015 uphold rate1 Jul - 31 Dec 20141 Jul - 31 Dec 2014 uphold rateDifference between two periods
Sesame Ltd17227%14224%+21%
Openwork Ltd11125%8216%+35%
Interactive Investor Trading Ltd 7563%6162%+23%
Hargreaves Lansdown Asset Management Ltd6015%5821%-3%
Positive Solutions (Financial Services) Ltd5139%---

Right to reply

A spokesman for Sesame said: “We take all complaints extremely seriously. The referral of 172 cases to Fos in the first half of 2015 represents a tiny proportion of the business our members write each year.

“Sesame has seen an improving trend, with a reduction in Fos referrals year-on-year, along with an uphold rate that remains low, with roughly three-quarters of the Sesame complaints referred to the Fos rejected.”

Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Bristol-based Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Naturally we are disappointed when clients are unhappy with the service they have received.

“We are pleased the rate of upheld complaints has fallen. To put it into context, the number of complaints upheld is less than 0.01 per cent of the millions of transactions we conducted over the same period.”

A spokesman for Interactive Investor said: “The period in question coincided with unprecedented volumes of new account openings experienced by Interactive Investor as a result of its highly competitive pricing structure.

“The company has increased its resources within the relevant teams to help deal with this higher level of demand for new accounts and transfers.”

Openwork and Positive Solutions were all asked to comment, but had not done so at the time of going to press.