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annual review 2014/2015

1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015

about this document

This annual review contains facts, figures and information about the work we have done - and the trends we have seen - over the last financial year.

key facts

  • We were set up under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 to resolve individual complaints between financial businesses and their customers – fairly and informally.
  • We can help with concerns and complaints about all kinds of money matters – from insurance and mortgages to savings and payday loans.
  • Our service is free to consumers.
  • If a financial business can’t resolve their customer’s complaint, we can step in. But the business must have the chance to sort things out first.
  • We’re independent and unbiased. We listen carefully to different perspectives – look at the facts about what’s happened – and find a way forward that helps both sides move on.
  • If we decide that a business has acted fairly, we’ll explain why. But if we decide they’ve acted unfairly, we’ll use our power to put things right.
  • Consumers don’t have to accept our answer about their complaint. But if they accept an ombudsman’s decision, it’s binding both on them and the business.
  • We don’t write the rules for financial businesses – or fine them if rules are broken. That’s the job of the regulator.
  • Everyone can learn something from complaints – so that what’s gone wrong in the past doesn’t happen again. So we’re committed to sharing our insight to help make money matters fairer.

key figures

  • We answered 1,786,973 enquiries from consumers – around 5,000 each working day. 
  • We took on one in five of these initial enquiries for a more detailed investigation – a total of 329,509 new complaints. 
  • 63% of new complaints were about the sale of payment protection insurance (PPI) – 204,943 complaints overall. 
  • Complaints about payday loans rose by nearly a half – while complaints about PPI fell by a half.
  • We resolved 448,387 complaints – with more than nine in ten settled informally by our adjudicators. 
  • Excluding PPI, we resolved 53% of complaints within three months. 
  • Six in ten of the total number of complaints we dealt with involved four banking groups – while 4,037 financial businesses accounted for just 3% of complaints. 
  • We operated on a cost base of £240.4 million with 3,401 people working with us at the end of the year.
  • We met thousands of business representatives and frontline community advisers at more than 200 seminars, roadshows, exhibitions and events.  
  • We answered more than a thousand enquiries from parliamentarians – and 21,000 calls to our free, expert helpline for businesses and people helping consumers. 
  • We featured in 6,000 media stories – and eight in ten adults in the UK had some awareness of our free service.
  • Our online video – featuring our Viking, Håkon, who makes our old Norse name approachable – has been watched more than 150,000 times.

All figures relate to the financial year 2014/2015.

an overview of how we handle cases

1,786,973 initial enquiries and complaints

handled by our frontline customer-contact division

329,509 new cases

referred to our adjudicators and ombudsmen for further dispute-resolution work

405,202 cases resolved by our adjudicators

through mediation, recommended settlements and adjudications

43,185 cases resolved by our ombudsmen

making formal decisions at the final "appeal" stage of our dispute-resolution process

All figures relate to the financial year 2014/2015.

annual review 2014

annual review 2014/2015

And if you can't quite make it through all 176 pages - you can see all the highlights in this handy 3 minute video.