Financial Ombudsman Service  

Fos complaints remain flat in first half of 2022

Fos complaints remain flat in first half of 2022

The Financial Ombudsman Service has received a total of 72,978 complaints in the first half of the year, a 56 per cent fall from the same period last year but flat on the second half of 2021.

In its complaints data, the Fos reported that between January 1 and June 30, it upheld 37 per cent of complaints.

In the first six months of 2021, the Fos had a total of 130,105 complaints but the uphold rate remained largely the same at 34 per cent.

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This fell to a total of 73,163 complaints with 37 per cent upheld in the second six months of 2021.

In the first half of 2022, banking and credit remained the most complained-about sector, with a total of 44,200, followed by 17,530 for general insurance and protection and 4,193 for decumulation, life and pensions.

The highest number of complaints within the pension category were against Aviva Life & Pensions with a total of 296 complaints. Of these, 24 per cent were upheld. 

A spokesperson for Aviva said: “The number of customers who refer their complaint to the Fos is representative of Aviva UK Life and Pensions’ market share and represents less than 2 per cent of customers who complain to Aviva.  

“The percentage of customers who receive a change in outcome when referring their complaint to the Fos remains low (20 per cent for UKL against an industry average of 26 per cent for decumulations, life and pensions).”

This is in line with the second half of last year where Aviva was the subject of a total 1,505 complaints, which were split into three: Aviva Equity Release UK, Aviva Insurance Limited and Aviva Life & Pensions.

The data, which was from July 2021 to December 2021, saw Aviva Insurance Limited receive a total of 928 new cases, of which 873 were for general insurance and pure protection, followed by payment protection insurance (42) and decumulation life and pensions (11). 

The firm added today that Aviva is working closely with the Fos to ensure it provides all customers who complain to Aviva with a fair outcome.

Aviva was followed by life and pensions consolidator ReAssure, which was also the subject of hundreds of complaints at the Fos in 2020.

ReAssure was the subject of a total 347 complaints, with the bulk of these in decumulation life and pensions (279), investments (37) and general insurance (30).

Of these new cases, 27 per cent of the pensions complaints were upheld.

In March, the Financial Conduct Authority said it was to engage with ReAssure over adviser claims that the service it is providing is “absolutely appalling”.

Meanwhile, within the decumulation, life and pensions category, Scottish Widows (221) followed behind with Prudential Assurance Company (180) and Phoenix Life Limited (134). 

A spokesperson for Scottish Widows said: “While the latest figures show the ombudsman continues to agree with over 80 per cent of our decisions, we’re committed to getting it right first time, and working to deliver better outcomes for our customers.”

Other firms that were in the list included Portal Financial Services (60), Standard Life Assurance (46), St James’s Place (38) and Hargreaves Lansdown Asset Management (26).