Financial Conduct Authority  

St James's Place overtakes Sesame in FCA complaints data

St James's Place overtakes Sesame in FCA complaints data

St James’s Place has overtaken Sesame to receive more complaints to the Financial Conduct Authority in the first half of 2016.

The regulator opened 1,761 complaints against Cheltenham-based SJP.

Most of these – 968 – related to investments, followed by decumulation, life and pensions which accounted for 604.

The FCA’s table of complaints lists St James’s Place as three separate divisions, with St James’s Place Investment Administration receiving most complaints at 602.

This was followed by St James’s Place UK which had 597 complaints and St James’s Place Wealth Management which received 565.

In the data released for the last half of 2015, St James’s Place was not listed while Sesame had 829 complaints.

Sesame received fewer complaints with 805 compared with the previous half and they were also overtaken by Hargreaves Lansdown.

The FCA handled 1,092 open complaints against the Bristol-based firm compared with 555 in the last six months of 2015.

Overall there was a reduction in complaints to the FCA during the first half of 2016, with 2.6 per cent fewer.

The total number of complaints was 2.05m, with payment protection insurance alone accounting for 930,000 of these.

Christopher Woolard, director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said: “To see another six months of reduction in the total number complaints is encouraging. 

“Firms still need to continue to ensure they are doing all they can to reduce consumer dissatisfaction, but the figures show firms are taking our feedback seriously.”

The company which was most complained about to the FCA was Barclays Bank, with more than 287,000 opened in the first half of 2016.

Lloyds Bank came second with 213,163 while Bank of Scotland came third with 173,646.

PPI complaints were more than double the number of the next most complained about product, which was current accounts.

Investments only accounted for 2 per cent of all complaints while decumulation, life and pensions accounted for 3 per cent.

Hannah Maundrell, editor in chief of money.co.uk, said: “Whilst it’s great to see the overall number of FCA complaints coming down, it is a real concern that so many consumers are still having major issues.

“Banks, building societies and insurers really need to up their game and address the recurring problems their customers are reporting.

“I suspect the numbers we see today are only a drop in the ocean compared to the overall amount of people who aren’t happy with the standard of service they receive from their provider.”