Regulation  

Sesame tops ombudsman adviser list of shame

Sesame tops ombudsman adviser list of shame

Bank of Scotland took the top spot in the Financial Ombudsman Service’s latest list of shame while Sesame remained the most complained about intermediary business.

Banks yet again took the top five spots on the Financial Ombudsman Service’s list of the companies with the most new complaints made against them in the latter half of 2015.

Bank of Scotland Plc had 22,089 complaints made against it, Lloyds Bank accounted for 21,304 new complaints received by the ombudsman, Barclays Bank got 17,781, HSBC Bank got 10,997, and National Westminster Bank received 9,330.

Sesame Limited saw 116 new complaints made about their advisers in the second half of 2015.

Openwork Limited had 79 complaints made against it, St James’s Place Wealth Management had 61 complaints, Positive Solutions received 37 and Hargreaves Lansdown Asset Management Limited saw 31 new complaints made by clients to Fos in the latter half of 2015.

The figures showed the ombudsman took on a total of 164,347 new cases in the second half of 2015 – a slight decrease of 6 per cent on the previous period.

Of the total cases referred to the ombudsman in the second half of 2015 PPI made up 56 per cent of new complaints – with 92,667 new PPI complaints, almost the same as in the previous period.

These complaints were generated by 220 businesses and the average uphold rate over the six month period was 53 per cent.

Chief ombudsman Caroline Wayman said: “The financial services sector has been through a challenging and volatile period in the eight years since the ombudsman first began to publish data about individual financial businesses.

“Though it still makes sense to plan for uncertainty and change ahead, the signs are that complaints are now broadly levelling off as we move onto a more even keel in the coming year.

“During 2015, PPI complaints finally began to approach stable levels – but we’re still seeing the volume of cases at a much higher level than many people expected.”

Complaints about financial products other than PPI decreased by 10 per cent to 71,663, reflecting a downward trend in areas such as packaged bank accounts, mortgages and pensions.

In the first half of 2015 Sesame was once again the most complained-about advice firm having also held this dubious honour in the second half of 2014.

Between 1 January and 30 June this year there were 172 complaints against Sesame - although only 27 per cent of these were upheld.

The company which was most complained about between January and June 2015 was Bank of Scotland Plc with 20,288 complaints followed closely by Barclays Bank with 20,021.

Adviser View

Dan Clayden, director of Devon-based Clayden Associates, said: “One of the big reasons for complaints in recent years has been PPI and obviously that is coming to the end of the road so that may be why complaints are starting to level out.

“I would hope it would be down to good financial advice and good regulation.”