Regulation 

Sipp complaints show no sign of slowing

Sipp complaints show no sign of slowing

The number of complaints about self-invested personal pensions received by the Financial Ombudsman Service has continued to increase.

In the first quarter of 2016-17 the Fos received 521 new cases about Sipps, compared with 328 in the same period in 2016.

But a smaller proportion of these are being upheld, with only 50 per cent being found in favour of the consumer compared with 66 per cent in the first quarter of last year.

The most complained-about product in the first quarter of 2016-17 was payment protection insurance, which accounted for 53 per cent of all complaints.

While the Fos received more enquiries about PPI, its received marginally fewer complaints at 42,401.

The next most complained-about product was current accounts, which received 5,229 complaints, though this has increased on the previous year.

In total the Fos received 80,234 complaints during the first quarter, with 35 per cent of these being upheld.

This compared with 81,709 complaints in the same period last year, when 48 per cent of them were upheld.

The Fos has said that in the run-up to the deadline for PPI complaints, set by the Financial Conduct Authority at 29 August 2019, it does not know how many people will decide to complain and at what point they might do so.

Richard Thompson, the Fos’s principal ombudsman, said: “In the meantime, we’ve been making sure we’re geared up to deal with what’s likely to be a significant increase in demand.

“We’ll also be updating our website to reflect all the latest developments – and to make it easier for people concerned about PPI, and for businesses handling complaints, to find the information they need from us.”

He pointed out that the deadline applies to a complainant informing the provider of their complaint and the Fos rules mean they have six months from the firm’s final response to contact the ombudsman.

This means the Fos is likely to be “very busy” with PPI complaints until beyond 2020 and beyond.

damian.fantato@ft.com

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