05Apr

After declining steadily from their peak in 2012, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has reported that payment protection insurance (PPI) complaint volumes have risen once more. The regulator has released details of complaints received by firms in the second half of 2015.

In the second half of 2015, the number of PPI complaints received by the UK’s authorised financial institutions was 932,298, up by 6% compared to the first half of the year. The rise may be due to press reports about the likelihood of a PPI complaints deadline being imposed, although the regulator is yet to announce when this deadline will be.

With 44% of all complaints, PPI is still the most complained about financial product, with more than double the figure for current accounts, which remains in second place. Many current account complaints concern alleged mis-selling of packaged bank accounts (PBAs).

Despite the PPI increase, the total complaints figure for the UK’s financial institutions fell by 1.4% compared to the first half of the year, to 2,110,000. Complaints about current accounts are down by 10.3% and about savings accounts by 14.5%. Complaints about all products other than PPI were down by 7%, even though credit card complaint numbers rose by 9.3%.
2,798 firms reported at least one complaint during the six month period. 54% of all complaints were upheld.

Total redress paid to consumers between July and December was £1.97 billion, almost exactly the same as the £1.98 billion figure for the period between January and June.
The firms with the most complaints during the second half of 2015 were: Barclays Bank (279,561), Lloyds Bank (230,041), Bank of Scotland (182,702), NatWest (135,262) and HSBC (120,986). For all five institutions, their total was lower when compared to the first half of the year, and in the case of HSBC, total complaints are down by 14%.

For the first time, data is also available on the number of complaints banks are receiving compared to the number of accounts held at the bank. In this respect, Royal Bank of Scotland had the most complaints at four per 1,000 accounts, while Barclays received 3.4 complaints per 1,000 accounts, NatWest three, Lloyds 2.9 and HSBC 2.6. Barclays says it no longer offers PBAs.

Christopher Woolard, Director of Strategy and Competition at the FCA, chose to concentrate on the fall in overall complaints, when he said:

“It is positive to see that the longer term reduction in the volume of complaints has continued into the latest period. Firms seem to have taken on board our previous feedback on levels of complaints and we are slowly seeing firms address these issues.

“However, firms still need to do all they can to reduce complaints and ensure that they are working in the best interests of consumers.”

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.