The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has reported that complaints about the firms it regulates fell by 2.6% in the first half of 2016 when compared to the second half of 2015. Between January 1 and June 30 2016, some 2.05 million complaints were made to the UK’s financial institutions. The number of firms reporting at least one complaint was unchanged at 2,796.

A considerable number of complaints about packaged bank accounts have been made in recent months and years, but here total complaints about current accounts fell by as much as 10%, to 407,954.

Only two areas showed an increase in complaint volumes – home finance, where they were up by 2%; and general insurance and pure protection, where complaints increased by 6%. With some 927,631 complaints, the number of payment protection insurance (PPI) grievances was virtually unchanged from the period July to December 2015. PPI is still easily the most complained about product, and continues to account for almost half of all complaints.

If the FCA gets its way of course and is allowed to impose a deadline, then PPI complaints will all but cease from the middle of 2019.

The financial institutions with the greatest number of complaints received were:

• Barclays Bank Plc – 287,463
• Lloyds Bank PLC – 213,163
• Bank of Scotland plc – 173,646
• HSBC Bank Plc – 124,891
• National Westminster Bank Plc – 121,197

Complaints about Barclays and HSBC are up 3% on the previous period, whereas complaints to the other three banks in the top five have decreased.

Total redress paid to consumers during the first half of 2016 was £1.96 billion, a reduction of just 1% on the previous period. This is partially due to the fact that the proportion of complaints upheld rose from 54% to 57%. 93% of complaints were closed within eight weeks, up from 91% in the previous period, so firms are also getting better at completing their complaints investigations in a timely manner.

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 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.