Regulation  

Scams and customer service issues top Fos complaints

Scams and customer service issues top Fos complaints
Nausicaa Delfas, interim chief executive and chief ombudsman at the Fos

Scammers and issues with customer service and administration were the most complained problems in 2021/22, according to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

The Fos's annual complaints data, which ran between April 2021 to March 2022, published today (June 28), found current accounts were the most complained about product with nearly 25,000 new cases. 

It found that a substantial proportion of these complaints were from victims of fraud and scams, with most relating to “authorised” fraud, where consumers are tricked into transferring money into accounts that they believe are legitimate. 

Complaints about “authorised” fraud increased by more than 20 per cent to 9,370 in 2021/22, compared to 7,770 the previous financial year. 

The Fos said it upheld around three quarters of “authorised” scam complaints in the consumers’ favour.

Fos interim chief executive and chief ombudsman Nausicaa Delfas, said: “Over the past year, the Fos continued to help over two hundred thousand customers who had problems with financial businesses on issues across banking, lending, insurance and investments. 

“In this period of economic uncertainty it is more important than ever that where problems do arise, they are addressed quickly. We are here to help to resolve financial disputes fairly and impartially.”

Another complained about issue that topped the list was administration and customer service problems, with more than 35,000 complaints against financial businesses being brought to the Fos and nearly 25,000 in the banking and credit sector.

Examples of complaints in customer service or administration included issues such as a lack of attention to detail, and sending personal information to the wrong address.

The data showed that the Fos received 165,263 new complaints about financial businesses in 2021/22 and resolved 218,740 complaints, upholding 38 per cent in favour of the consumer compared with 31 per cent the previous year.

The Fos also received 57,000 complaints linked to all types of borrowing last year and saw an increase in complaints about second charge mortgages, including from people in financially vulnerable positions. 

In some cases, the Fos said it saw interest rates of around 35 per being applied to the loans.

Overall, in the main financial product areas, it received 108,065 new complaints about banking and credit, 33,127 about insurance, 16,276 about investments and pensions and 5,369 about payment protection insurance (PPI).

sonia.rach@ft.com

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