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FCA: Platform complaints double in 24 months

FCA: Platform complaints double in 24 months

Complaints about platforms doubled in the past 24 months, according to data released by the Financial Conduct Authority. 

Data published yesterday (October 28) showed there were 17,090 complaints made against investment platforms in the first half of 2021, up 103 per cent on the 8,431 made in the second half of 2019, covering a period of 24 months. 

Complaints have been on a steady rise since 2019, increasing to 8,970 in the first half of 2020, 12,074 in the second half, and finally 17,090 in H1 2021.

Platforms contributed to the total increase in investments complaints, which was also bolstered by rising Isa complaints, which were up 18 per cent, from 18,195 to 21,444, in the past 12 month period. 

Pensions meanwhile saw a significant 33 per cent increase in workplace personal pensions complaints to 14,974 complaints in H1 this year. 

Non-workplace personal pensions, including self-invested personal pensions, were up 21 per cent in the past 12 months, to 42,259 complaints. 

However despite these increases, the City watchdog said complaints against financial services firms were at their the lowest level recorded since 2016, having fallen 7 per cent in the latest half year, to 2.04m complaints.

Firms paid out £32m on pension complaints in H2 2021 and £19m on investment complaints. 

Drilling into firm specific data, platforms Interactive Investor and Aegon’s Cofounds received 5.26 and 5.19 claims respectively in the decumulation and pensions category per 1,000 policies in place, while M&G’s Ascentric and AJ Bell received 4.57 and 4.56 claims. 

For investments, Cofounds received 1.14 complaints per 1,000 client accounts while Ascentric and AJ Bell received 2.86 and 4.23 complaints respectively. Quilter’s Investment platform saw 4.34 claims relating to investments. 

The FCA's list only includes firms which received 500 or more complaints in a six month period, or 1,000 or more in a year.

Within the decumulation and pensions category, Sipp provider Equiniti Financial Services Limited topped the list with the highest number of complaints at 25.56 per 1,000 policies in force.

This was followed by Curtis Banks Limited (23.39) and Suffolk Life pensions Limited (15.74). 

Within the investments category, Scottish Widows came in highly with 11.66 complaints per 1,000 client accounts. 

Quilter Life & Pensions Limited received 6.57 complaints per 1,000 client accounts, followed by Phoenix Group Holdings with 5.29.

Advice firm St James’s Place received 1.2 complaints per 1,000 policies in decumulation and pensions and 0.8 complaints in investments per 1,000 client. It had a comparatively high rate of 83.9 per cent and 80.5 per cent of complaints upheld. 

sonia.rach@ft.com

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