The Financial Ombudsman Service has published its annual complaints data for the 2020/21 financial year (April 2020-March 2021) with commentary and insight. The overall number of new complaints received increased by 2% to 278,033, compared to the 271,468 complaints received in the 2019/20 financial year.

Excluding the number of PPI complaints, the figures reveal a 58% increase in the volume of complaints received, with 235,993 new non-PPI complaints compared to 149,315 non-PPI complaints received in 2019/20.

The complaints data published today also shows:

  • 162,420 non-PPI complaints were resolved by the Ombudsman Service in 2020/21 (compared with 172,216 in 2019/20);
  • 40% of non-PPI complaints resolved in 2020/21 were upheld in favour of the consumer (compared with 44% in 2019/20); and
  • 42,040 complaints about PPI were received (compared with 122,153 in 2019/20).

The sharp increase in non-PPI complaints has largely been driven by a 66% increase in complaints about banking and credit products, with 170,648 complaints being received in 2020/21, compared with 103,070 in 2019/20. Within the banking and credit category, the data shows:

  • Current accounts were the most complained about product, with 23,678 new complaints;
  • Unaffordable lending was the most complained about issue, with 57,571 new complaints; and,
  • Home credit products had the highest uphold rate, with 83% of resolved complaints being upheld.

The data published today reveals the following trends about insurance and investment and pensions complaints:

  • A 36% increase in complaints about insurance, with 44,487 complaints being received in 2020/21 compared with 32,637 in 2019/20;
  • A 91% increase in complaints about investments and pensions, with 20,854 complaints being received in 2020/21 compared with 10,920 in 2019/20 and
  • 94% of resolved complaints about special event insurance – which covers wedding insurance – were upheld.

The Financial Ombudsman Service has also published commentary and insight on complaints received in 2020/21, including analysis and case studies covering banking and credit, borrowing, insurance and investments.

The figures published today reveal the significantly increased demand for the Financial Ombudsman Service in the last financial year.

Commenting on the figures published today, Nausicaa Delfas, interim Chief Executive and Chief Ombudsman of the Financial Ombudsman Service, said:

“The Financial Ombudsman Service continues to provide an essential service, helping people with hundreds of thousands of complaints about financial businesses last year. Over the past year, we have seen demand for our service increase significantly, and our teams are working to provide resolutions in cases as quickly as they can.

“The sharp increase in complaints about issues other than PPI is a reminder that it has rarely been more important for financial businesses to support their customers when things go wrong. As people continue to deal with the impact of Covid-19 on their lives and finances, they know they can come to our service if they’re not happy with how a financial business has treated them.”

Read the annual complaints data and insight 2020/21.

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