4 March 2014
The Financial Ombudsman Service today releases the latest six-monthly complaints data relating to individual financial businesses – including the high street banks and biggest insurers.
The data published on the ombudsman's website details complaints received and resolved by the ombudsman service between 1 July and 31 December 2013. This includes:
The figures published today show that the ombudsman took on a record 575,836 new cases in total in 2013 – this was an increase of over a third (38%) on the previous year (2012).
Of the cases referred to the ombudsman in the second half of the year (248,801), payment protection insurance (PPI) made up around three-quarters (76%) – with a total of 190,356 new PPI complaints. Five financial services groups accounted for nearly seven out of ten (68%) new PPI cases.
For complaints about financial products other than PPI, the total number of cases referred to the ombudsman was 8% lower than the first half of the 2013 (55,747 compared to 60,807). This involved banking complaints reducing by 11% and insurance cases by 7%.
The average uphold rate (where the ombudsman found in the consumer’s favour) over the six-month period was 51%, ranging from 2% to 94% across the individual businesses
Tony Boorman, chief ombudsman, said:
The extraordinary volumes of financial complaints we saw in 2013 now look as if they’re starting to level off at last – and that has to be welcome news for everyone.
But we’re still a long way from being able to say that PPI is sorted once and for all. Over 1,000 people every day are still asking us to sort out PPI problems that they’ve not been able to resolve directly with their bank.
So with the numbers of new cases still depressingly high, we’re going to need to continue to rely on the patience of consumers and the cooperation of businesses to get us through the substantial workload.
Away from PPI, there are further signs of improvement, with fewer cases suggesting good news. But in far too many cases uphold rates remain stubbornly high, highlighting the need for financial businesses to do more to demonstrate their longer-term commitment to listen to customer’s concerns as they seek to rebuild trust.