09Apr

As an August 2019 deadline for making a complaint about payment protection insurance (PPI) approaches, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) is expecting to receive a further 220,000 complaints about the product during the financial year that runs from April 1 2018 to March 31 2019.

The FOS expects to receive 380,000 complaints in total during the financial year. The other 160,000 complaints are expected to comprise 76,000 about banking, 40,000 about other forms of insurance, 20,000 about payday loans and other short-term lending, 14,000 about pensions and investments and 10,000 about packaged bank accounts.

This compares to the 321,283 new complaints received by the FOS in 2016/17, 168,769 of which concerned PPI. Final figures for 2017/18 are not yet available, but the first nine months of the financial year saw 245,564 complaints, including 135,364 about PPI.

It hopes to reduce its backlog by resolving 410,000 complaints in the same period, including 250,000 PPI claims. It also promises to resolve 95% of the PPI claims that have now been outstanding for more than 12 months, and to resolve the majority of complaints received within 90 days.

The costs to be incurred by financial firms in funding the FOS will not increase. The general levy on the industry remains unchanged at £24.5 million, and case fees remain at £550 for the sixth year in succession. Once again, case fees will only be charged once a firm has had 25 or more complaints referred to FOS during the financial year.

PPI will continue to dominate the FOS’s workload for a little while yet, however the organisation’s annual plan and budget document also reveals it is looking forward to ‘life after PPI’. On this subject, the document reads:

“We’ll begin engaging about our future funding model – including holding roundtables with our stakeholders – so we can put in place a fair and sustainable arrangement ready for a complaints landscape that’s no longer dominated by PPI.”

The document also looks forward to some longer term changes the FOS can expect, such as becoming responsible for more complaints from small businesses, and for adjudicating complaints about claims management companies. It also makes reference to an independent report commissioned by the FOS board to look at concerns raised by the Channel 4 documentary Dispatches, which uncovered evidence of staff siding with firms in disputes in order to meet their targets, and of a lack of staff training on complex products.

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.