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ombudsman releases latest complaints data on individual financial businesses

28 February 2012

The Financial Ombudsman Service today releases its latest set of six-monthly complaints data relating to individual financial businesses – including banks, insurance companies and investment firms.

The data published today on the ombudsman's website covers consumer complaints handled by the ombudsman service between 1 July and 31 December 2011. The data includes both the number of complaints received about individual businesses and the percentage of complaints the ombudsman service upheld in favour of consumers.

During this six-month period, the ombudsman service received a total of 106,193 new complaints. 89% of the total number of cases involved 163 financial businesses (out of more than 100,000 businesses covered by the ombudsman).

Of the data published, 46,700 cases related to payment protection insurance (PPI) – a decrease of 53% on the 98,632 PPI cases received in the first half of 2011. This reflects the impact of the FSA's special arrangements, allowing banks more time to deal with their backlogs of cases following their unsuccessful legal challenge on PPI complaint handling. The ombudsman service is expecting to receive a record 165,000 PPI complaints in 2012/2013.

The data also shows that complaints about mortgages have increased by 38%, while investment-related complaints have remained relatively stable, increasing by only 5%.

The number of new complaints about each of the individual businesses ranged from 33 to 11,524. Five financial services groups had more than 6,000 complaints each referred to the ombudsman service, which together accounted for 55,241 cases – over half of all the new complaints received by the ombudsman during this six-month period.

The data published today shows that in the second half of 2011 the ombudsman service upheld an average of 72% of complaints in favour of consumers, compared to 47% in the first half of 2011 – reflecting the impact of PPI cases. Across the 163 individual businesses included in the complaints data, the overall uphold rates varied substantially between 6% and 98% upheld in favour of consumers. For PPI cases specifically, uphold rates ranged between 6% and 100%.

Natalie Ceeney, chief executive and chief ombudsman, said:

The proportion of complaints that we have upheld in favour of the consumer – ranging from 6% to 100% – clearly highlights the difference in PPI complaints handling across major businesses over this period. It also reflects the efforts made by some businesses to resolve quickly the hundreds of thousands of PPI complaints that had built up during the banks' unsuccessful PPI legal challenge. We now hope to see all businesses who were involved in PPI mis-selling resolving their customers complaints fairly, properly and quickly.

Look at the complaints data now available on individual financial businesses.

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