Complaints drop but advice still the most likely cause

Complaints drop but advice still the most likely cause

Complaints to the FCA have dropped by 1.4 per cent, but advising, selling and arranging remains the biggest cause of complaint, the regulator has said. According to the FCA, complaints relating to advising, selling and arranging increased by 1 per cent to 1,239,018 in the second half of 2015, while general administration and customer service-related complaints reduced by nearly 5 per cent. The complaints reported are on a firm-level for individual companies who reported 500 or more complaints in a six-month period.

The total redress paid to consumers who have been mis-sold financial products was £1.97bn between July and December last year, down from £1.98bn in H1 2015.

Despite a continuing upward trend in the number of complaints relating to personal pensions – which has increased by 52 per cent between H1 2010 and H2 2015 – pension complaints as a whole saw a 15 per cent drop between the first and second half of the year. The FCA pointed out the increase in personal pension complaints is consistent with the trend in sales within the same time period.

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Elsewhere, investment complaints have also dropped by 20 per cent – this includes complaints related to Peps, Isas and investment bonds. Chart 1 shows the proportion of complaints in each product category.

PPI remains the most complained about product, amounting to 44 per cent of all 2.11m complaints – more than double current accounts, the next most complained about product, which had 454,276 complaints over the same period.

At a firm level, Sesame topped the table for financial advice companies, with the highest proportion of upheld complaints.

Of course not all complaints are upheld. The average uphold rate dropped from 55 per cent to 53 per cent in H2 2015.