over a million enquiries and more than 200,000 disputes ...
ombudsman service publishes annual review of personal finance disputes
18 May 2011
The Financial Ombudsman Service – the independent organisation that settles disputes between consumers and financial companies – today publishes its annual review covering the 2010/11 financial year. The review shows that during the year:
- the ombudsman handled over a million front-line enquiries and complaints from consumers – around 4,000 each working day
- around 1 in 5 of the initial consumer enquiries we received turned into a formal dispute requiring the involvement of our adjudicators and ombudsman – a record 206,121 new cases, up 26% on the previous year
- 51% of the new cases were about the sale of payment protection insurance (PPI) with the number more than doubling to 104,597 – the highest number ever received in a year about a single financial product
Natalie Ceeney, chief executive and chief ombudsman, said:
This year has been the busiest in our ten-year history – with over 200,000 disputes referred to us and a million front-line enquiries. This reflects the increased confidence of an ever more diverse range of consumers getting in touch about a wider range of problems and issues.
Aside from PPI cases, over the year we’ve seen encouraging signs of improvements in the way that some businesses are handling complaints – and it’s good to see that the number of disputes about some other financial products has now started to fall.
Statistics from the ombudsman’s annual review show:
- the number of investment complaints dropped by 30% and banking complaints fell by 9%
- the ombudsman resolved almost half of all disputes (apart from PPI) in three months and three quarters within six months
- the ombudsman’s involvement resulted in compensation for consumers in 51% of cases
- complaints about consumer credit, travel insurance and motor insurance increased, while complaints about health insurance, current accounts and home contents insurance fell
- half of the total number of disputes referred to the ombudsman service involved four of the UK's largest financial services groups – while 2,131 businesses had just one complaint each
- 78% of adults said they were aware of the Financial Ombudsman Service – with awareness of the ombudsman highest in the Wales and lowest in Northern Ireland
- press office – phone 020 7964 1234