The Financial Ombudsman Service has published its annual complaints data for the 2021/22 financial year (April 2021 to March 2022) with insight into common problems raised by consumers.

The complaints data published today show that complaints about “authorised” scams increased by around a fifth in the last financial year, with nearly 9,370 complaints being received compared to 7,770 in 2020/21. The Financial Ombudsman is continuing to uphold around three quarters of “authorised” scam complaints in the consumers’ favour.

Administration and customer service problems topped the list of issues where customers had problems, with more than 35,000 complaints against financial businesses being brought to the Financial Ombudsman, including nearly 25,000 in the banking and credit sector.

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.

Analysis of the figures published today highlights the following trends:

  • We received more than 35,000 complaints about customer service or administration across all financial products. Examples of this included a lack of attention to detail, and sending personal information to the wrong address.
  • Current accounts were the most complained about product, with nearly 25,000 new cases coming to the Financial Ombudsman. With the number of cases about ‘authorised’ scams increasing, we continued to see high numbers of fraud and scams cases in 2021/22, with more than 17,500 new complaints in total. We saw new trends in scams involving social media and scams relating to fake investments.
  • Covid-19 and the cost-of-living crisis continued to impact on people’s financial lives. Overall, we received 57,000 complaints linked to all types of borrowing last year. For example, we saw an increase in complaints about second charge mortgages, including from people in financially vulnerable positions. In some cases, we have seen interest rates of over 35% being applied to the loans.

Overall, in the main financial product areas, we received:

  • 108,065 new complaints about banking and credit
  • 33,127 about insurance 
  • 16,276 about investments and pensions
  • 5,369 about payment protection insurance (PPI)

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

Over the past year, the Financial Ombudsman Service continued to help over two hundred thousand customers who had problems with financial businesses on issues across banking, lending, insurance and investments. In this period of economic uncertainty it is more important than ever that where problems do arise, they are addressed quickly.  We are here to help to resolve financial disputes fairly and impartially.

Read the annual complaints data and insight 2021/22.

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