Our annual complaints data shows the volume of complaints we received and overall uphold rates over the course of the financial year, between April 2022 and March 2023.
(282,035 in 2021/22)
(164,560 in 2021/22)
overall uphold rate
lowest uphold rate – packaged bank accounts
highest uphold rate – mini-bonds
Data from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023. Totals above includes all complaints received and overall uphold rates by the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Financial Ombudsman Service for Small Businesses. We publish annual data for our Claims Management Ombudsman sub-brand separately.
The top five most complained about products
In 2022/23, the Financial Ombudsman Service continued to see high volumes of complaints across a wide range of issues.
The top five most complained about products were:
Current accounts, credit cards and motor insurance were also in the top three positions last year.
Hire purchase was also in the top five – at number five – but is now at number four. It has seen an 85% increase year on year due to the increase in commission cases. Last year personal loans were in the top five, but this product has been replaced by buildings insurance. Personal loans complaints reduced, while buildings insurance cases increased.
You can find more data and insight about sector-specific complaints below.
Banking and mortgages – what we’ve seen in 2022/23
Total new complaints: 70,416
Most complained-about product: current accounts – 26,039 new complaints
Overall uphold rate: 36%
Highest uphold rate: help-to-buy and shared equity loans – 71%
Lowest uphold rate: packaged bank accounts – 7%
Fraud and scams involved in half of new complaints about current accounts
Current accounts were the most complained about product in 2022/23 – we received over 26,000 new complaints. Around half of these complaints were from victims of fraud and scams.
And as we first reported in our Q1 2022/23 data, complaints about fake investment opportunities have grown in our casework across the year.
In these complaints, consumers typically tell us that they were tricked into making a payment to an investment opportunity that they later found out does not exist. Other common scams we saw in our casework this year included instances where fraudsters impersonate a genuine firm or product.
Poor service involved in complaints about help-to-buy and shared equity loans
The banking product with the highest proportion of complaints upheld in the consumers’ favour was help-to-buy and shared equity loans, with an uphold rate of 71%.
In these complaints, consumers told us that they have received poor customer service or that there have been administrative failings from the firm who sold the loan. Some consumers also complained about problems with redeeming their loans secured on properties affected by cladding or other fire safety issues.
Credit – what we’ve seen in 2022/23
Total new complaints: 39,607
Most complained-about product: hire purchase (motor) – 11,446 new complaints
Overall uphold rate: 41%
Highest uphold rate: running account credit – 68%
Lowest uphold rate: pawnbroking – 19%
Complaints about undisclosed commission in hire purchase increased
In this financial year, we saw an increase in complaints about hire purchase (motor), particularly in the latter half of the year. As we noted in our Q3 2022/23 data, in these complaints consumers have complained about the charges, fees and commission associated with the product.
Running account credit – consumers say the product was unaffordable
In 2022/23, the product with the highest proportion of cases upheld in the consumers’ favour was running account credit. Our uphold rate was 68%.
We’ve also seen a significant increase in complaints about this product. There’s been around 4,000 in 2022/23, compared to 700 in 2021/22.
However, most of these complaints were against Indigo Michael, which entered administration on 9 January 2023. As a result, we expect to see a drop in complaints in the next financial year. We don’t expect this to be an ongoing concern.
These products are a type of lending that is like an overdraft facility. Borrowers are given a 'limit' that they can draw up to as an when they need to, provided they pay at least the interest off each month. While the credit agreement has no fixed end date, this type of credit is expensive and intended for short term use only.
In many of these complaints, consumers told us the credit facility was not affordable when they took it out, or that their circumstances had changed and they could no longer afford to make repayments.
Insurance – what we’ve seen in 2022/23
Total new complaints: 39,730
Most complained-about product: car or motorcycle insurance – 11,851 new complaints
Overall uphold rate: 31%
Highest uphold rate: building guarantees – 52%
Lowest uphold rate: personal accident insurance – 15%
Increase in motor insurance complaints – what have consumers told us?
We saw an increase in complaints about car or motorcycle insurance compared to the previous financial year and received over 11,000 new complaints. As we noted in our Q3 2022/23 data, in some of these cases consumers have complained their car was worth more than their insurer had given them, following a theft or an accident where the car was written off.
In some cases, we saw examples of insurers not considering all the available information, which tended to lead to offers that were less favourable. We also saw complaints from consumers who felt it was unfair that their claim for a vehicle theft by deception was rejected by their insurer. We’ve shared more about how we can help in these complaints.
Some travel insurance complaints related to Covid-19
Complaints about travel insurance also increased compared with the previous financial year. Some of these complaints related to Covid-19, where consumers complained about the impact of positive or delayed Covid-19 test results, or the lack of Covid-19 testing. We’ve set out what we expect firms to do to resolve these complaints.
We also saw complaints from consumers who said their travel insurer had declined a claim because the consumer hadn’t disclosed a pre-existing medical condition. A small number of complaints were about delays caused by the insurer in providing medical assistance or arranging repatriation for consumers abroad.
Investments and pensions – what we’ve seen in 2022/23
Total new complaints: 14,098
Most complained-about product: personal pensions – 3,048 new complaints
Overall uphold rate: 36%
Highest uphold rate: mini-bonds – 86%
Lowest uphold rate: critical illness cover – 12%
Few complaints about mini-bonds – but the level of harm can be significant
The product with the highest proportion of cases upheld in the consumers’ favour in 2022/23 was mini-bonds, with an uphold rate of 86%. But the number of cases we have seen about this product remains low, with 115 new complaints this financial year.
A mini-bond is considered a high-risk investment product. They are designed to pay regular interest and for the capital to be returned at maturity like regular bonds. But what makes mini-bonds different is that investors’ money is locked in until maturity and that the companies involved are more likely to run into financial difficulty. This means there’s more risk that investors can lose all of their money.
In 2020, the Financial Conduct Authority banned the promotion of speculative mini-bonds to most consumers. In many of the complaints we’ve received, consumers tell us they did not realise the product they bought was a mini-bond, thinking instead it was a more regular bond or ISA. When we’ve looked at these complaints, we’ve often found that mini-bonds have been poorly advertised, misleading consumers about the true risks of the product.
We can now look at complaints about funeral plans
Funeral plans complaints key stats:
102 new cases
18% uphold rate
On 29 July 2022 any financial business that sells and provides funeral plans became regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). In 2022/23 we received 102 new complaints.
In these complaints, consumers told us the plans they purchased previously had now become unaffordable for them and they were no longer able to keep up with the payments. Some said they weren’t aware they couldn’t cancel the plan without losing what they had already paid for it. Others complained that they were now overpaying for the plan as they’d paid more than the cost of a funeral would be.
The full data set
Annual complaints data – 2022/23
xlsx (33 KB)