07Oct

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published details of the complaints received by authorised firms in the first six months of 2015, and there have been significant rises in complaint numbers in many areas.

The overall complaints total is down 2.1% on the second half of 2014, to 2,138,209. This is largely driven by a fall of 13.6% in the number of complaints in the ‘general insurance and pure protection’ category, which includes payment protection insurance (PPI). However, with 1,204,783 cases, this remains the most complained about category.

PPI complaints themselves fell by 16.6% to 883,043. Subject to the outcome of an FCA consultation, it may not be possible to make a PPI complaint after 2018, so the PPI complaint numbers many rise in the immediate future, having fallen steadily for the last few years. There may also be a spike in PPI complaints as the FCA is consulting on new rules that will allow PPI complaints to be made where an excessively large commission was charged, and where this commission was not disclosed to the customer.

The largest rise in any one category is in the banking and credit category. Overall numbers here were up 21.8% to 738,157; and complaints specifically relating to selling and arranging of banking products and credit cards more than doubled when compared to the previous period, with 276,071. Packaged bank accounts continue to give rise to concern – some 506,326 complaints related to current accounts in some way.

Complaints in the ‘decumulation, life and pensions’ product group were up 19.7% to 73,055.

In summary, this means that non-PPI complaints were up 11.6% to 1,255,166.
The five firms with the most complaints in the first half of 2015 were:
• Barclays Bank – 283,221 (up 2.4%)
• Lloyds Bank – 232,971 (down 4%)
• Bank of Scotland – 190,121 (down 18%)
• National Westminster Bank – 144,741 (up 14.4%)
• HSBC Bank – 140,244 (down 7.8%)
When only banking and credit complaints are looked at, Barclays has a significant lead, with 140,574 cases. NatWest is second on 95,994.

In the life and pensions category, Prudential was the most complained about firm, on 8,827.

The FCA’s director of strategy and competition, Christopher Woolard, said of the figures:
“While the ongoing fall in PPI complaints is welcome, this is the second half-year running that we have seen complaints about banking products rise. It is clear that firms need to look at the causes for this rise and where necessary take action to address the causes of the trend. Ensuring good consumer outcomes should be at the heart of firms’ activities and we want to see complaints fall in the future as firms seek to ensure that consumers get the right products and services.”
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.