05Sep

As payment protection insurance (PPI) has dominated the workload of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) in recent years, it had been assumed that while PPI complaint volumes were falling, so would the overall workload of the FOS.

However, the FOS’s figures for the first six months of 2015 show that PPI complaints fell by 10% when compared with the previous period (to 94,091), yet total complaints rose by 8% to 173,994. The total number of complaints about products other than PPI has risen by 45% when compared to the final six months of 2014.

In the main, this rise can be attributed to a significant increase in complaints about packaged bank accounts (PBAs) being submitted by claims management companies.

The organisations with the most new complaints were Bank of Scotland (20,288), Barclays (20,021), Lloyds Bank (19,818), HSBC (12,792) and NatWest (11,549).

Figures for the ‘banking and credit’ category, which includes PBAs, show that NatWest was the subject of most complaints of this type, with 8,206 new cases. They are followed by Barclays (6,736), Lloyds Bank (5,737), Bank of Scotland (3,935) and HSBC (3,622).

The organisations with the most PPI complaints during the period were Bank of Scotland (15,002), Lloyds Bank (13,319), Barclays (12,111), HSBC (8,474) and Capital One (6,429).

The figures for the cases the FOS closed in the first six months of 2015 show that 57% of cases were decided in the customer’s favour. The very worst firms in this respect are not the largest high street banks, but those with uphold rates of 80% or more include payday lender Cash EuroNet LLC (which trades as QuickQuid) and electronics retailer DSG Retail Limited (which trades as Dixons).
Cash EuroNet has the highest uphold rate in the banking and credit category, while WDFC UK Limited (which trades as Wonga) also had a high uphold rate.

Lloyds Bank was the worst high street giant for wrongly rejecting PPI complaints, with 93% upheld. CT Capital plc, Secure Trust Bank plc and NewDay Ltd all have a 94% uphold rate.

Chief ombudsman Caroline Wayman said:

“Complaints about PPI continue to make up over half of our workload. And though the number of new PPI cases has reduced in the first half of this year, the decline has not been as steady or as marked as generally expected. This is at least in part due to the continued high levels of activity by claims managers in this area.

“Claims managers have also been largely responsible for the substantial increase in complaints about packaged bank accounts, which have driven up our banking workload over this period by two thirds.

“Nobody wants ‘another PPI’. This is why we’re working closely with businesses, claims companies and their regulators, to make sure PPI is sorted as fairly and as quickly as possible for everyone involved – and that lessons are learned to prevent anything like this happening again. If we can all achieve this, then the next seven years should be a different story.”

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.