We publish complaints data on financial products and services every quarter and updates on business complaints data every six months. Our quarterly updates on financial products and services include the number of enquiries and new cases we received, the number of complaints passed to an ombudsman for a final decision, and the proportion of complaints resolved in favour of customers. From Q1 2020/21 we have been using a new product taxonomy, find out about the changes we’ve made.
For information on the complaints we received about claims management companies (CMCs), please see our CMC quarterly data.
Overview of the complaints received between July and September (Q2) 2020
Between July and September 2020, we continued to see an increase in complaints from people who borrowed money, who then felt the debt was unaffordable. Complaints arising from Covid-19 also continued to reach us, reflecting the wide-ranging impact of the pandemic on people’s lives. At the same time, although payment protection insurance (PPI) remains the most complained-about product, it continues to decline as a proportion of our casework – a decade on from when mis-selling complaints began to be referred to us in mass volumes.
Summary of the quarter
Consumer enquiries: 119,214
10% higher than Q1 2020/21 and 36% fewer than Q2 2019/20
New complaints: 68,735
19% higher than Q1 2020/21 and 20% higher than Q2 2019/20
Referrals to an ombudsman: 9,204
17% higher than Q1 2020/21 and 21% fewer than Q2 2019/20
Uphold rate: 32%
no change from Q1 2020/21 and four percentage points lower than Q2 2019/20
Uphold rate (excluding PPI): 41%
one percentage point higher than in Q1 2020/21 and seven percentage points lower than Q2 2019/20
Highest uphold rate: Guarantor loans – 88%
Most complained-about product: PPI – 12,742 new complaints
New complaints from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs): 391
201% more than Q1 2020/21 and 178% more than Q2 2019/20
Our Q2 2020/21 trends in more detail
- Complaints about credit cards have continued to rise: quarter-on-quarter new complaints increased by 26% (to 3,828) and when compared to Q2 2019/20, new complaints about credit cards have increased by 66%.
- Complaints about payday loans, though still high in number, are now reaching us in much lower volumes compared to peak levels in 2018/19, where we were receiving in excess of 10,000 cases per quarter. In Q2 2020/21 we continued to see an increase in cases about guarantor loans and home credit: new complaints about guarantor loans increased quarter-on-quarter by 298% (to 4,191), and new complaints about home credit by 144% (to 3,199).
- We’ve continued to see high uphold rates across credit products where we see the most complaints about unaffordable lending, for example the uphold rate for guarantor loans this quarter was 88%, and home credit was 72%.
- We’re also seeing a high level of claims management company (CMC) activity. Eight in ten complaints about home credit were brought to us via a CMC, compared with an average of just three in ten across our wider caseload.
- We’re also hearing from more people who’ve fallen into financial difficulty and aren’t happy with the way their lender has responded. Earlier this year, the FCA put in place specific measures to help consumers whose finances are affected by Covid-19.
- The rules and guidance around lending and supporting people in financial difficulty are well-established – and we encourage lenders to ensure that they’re responding effectively and fairly to their customers’ concerns. We provide a range of resources to help lenders do this, including information about our approach to resolving cases and a database of ombudsmen’s decisions.
*Commercial lending data starts in Q1 2020/21 as this is a product from our new taxonomy.
- We previously published our wider insight on the complaints we had seen that related to Covid-19. Our Q2 data highlights that these trends have continued: we’ve seen a significant increase in complaints about travel insurance, business protection insurance and in complaints from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) about financial businesses in relation to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS). In this quarter, we’ve begun to resolve some of these complaints.
- To help consumers and businesses resolve and prevent complaints relating to Covid-19, we’ve published a range of resources on our website for both consumers and businesses. The FCA also publishes regular updates on its work around business interruption insurance, as well as other resources for businesses and consumers.
PPI complaints have fallen as other complaints have risen
- In Q2, we continued to see fewer incoming PPI complaints than we expected this financial year. Although there was significant uncertainty around the volumes of complaints we’d see following the FCA’s deadline of August 2019, we knew that volumes would eventually decline – and the current incoming volumes show we’re starting to move into the final stages of PPI. As we look ahead, the issues we’re seeing in the rest of our casework suggest we’ll see a continued trend toward more complex circumstances, with fewer opportunities for economies of scale in resolving disputes in the way we've previously been able to with mass claims such as PPI.
In each release of quarterly data (about both financial products and relating to complaints about claims management companies), we publish the number of new enquiries and new complaints received in the period, together with the number of ombudsman referrals and the percentage of cases upheld in favour of the customer.
From the Q1 2020/21 releases, we changed the threshold for our reporting on the number of new complaints received. In previous releases, we published data where our service had received at least 30 new complaints about a product or service in the relevant reporting period. From Q1 2020/21, we reduced this threshold to the receipt of at least 10 new complaints, to increase the granularity of insight we’re able to offer stakeholders about complaints trends. Products and services where we have received at least one, but fewer than 10 new complaints, will be denoted as “<10”.
We have also taken the opportunity to update our criteria for publishing uphold rates. Previously, we published the percentage of cases upheld in favour of the customer where we had both received 30 new complaints and resolved 30 complaints about a product or service in the relevant period. From Q1 2020/21, we will publish the uphold rate where we have resolved 30 or more complaints about the relevant product or service in the period – we will no longer apply a threshold relating to the receipt of new complaints.