Financial Ombudsman Service  

Complaints against advisers fall

Complaints against advisers fall

Complaints against advisers to the Financial Ombudsman Service fell by 16 per cent in the last six months of 2017.

Data released by the Fos this morning showed the organisation received 816 new complaints involving financial advisers between July and December 2017.

This compares to 966 new complaints for the first half of the year.

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Of the new complaints for the second half of the year, 34 per cent were upheld, which was also a fall, with 43 per cent being upheld in the first six months of 2017.

The largest financial advice businesses saw the highest number of complaints, with Sesame taking the top spot with 88, followed by St James's Place Wealth Management with 58.

The only other financial advice businesses included in the list - which doesn't feature firms receiving less than 30 new complaints - were Openwork, which received 61 complaints, and Hargreaves Lansdown, which received 50.

All four firms saw the number of complaints they received fall over the course of 2017.

Openwork had the highest uphold-rate of all four firms, with an ombudsman finding in favour of the client in 47 per cent of its complaints - an increase compared to the 20 per cent for the previous six months.

The other three firms had rates just below 20 per cent.

Bank of Scotland received the greatest number of new complaints of all financial services firms in the last six months of 2017, with 20,386 - with most of these relating to payment protection insurance.

HSBC, Barclays and Lloyds Bank were also in the top five, along with Financial Insurance Company Limited, the holding company for Axa, which received 16,613 complaints about PPI.

Prudential received the most complaints about life, pensions and decumulation, with 236, while Barclays Bank received the most about investments, with 337.

Bank of Scotland received the most complaints about mortgages and home finance, with 559.

damian.fantato@ft.com