Welcome to the latest Ombudsman News. We've published our annual complaints data and insight for 2020/21, and in this edition you can read about some of the key trends we've seen in a year impacted by Covid-19. 

See our previous editions of Ombudsman News.

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Annual complaints data and insight 2020/21

Our annual complaints data and insight is a review of our work over the past financial year. We've shared data on the volume of complaints we received and resolved, and how many we've upheld.

We shared case studies and insights into the key trends we've seen in different sectors, and the lessons we can take from handling and resolving complaints – and how they might be prevented. 

 

Our annual complaints data and insight 2020/21

Focusing on the fundamentals of customer service

While the pandemic is unlike anything businesses and their customers have been through before, our experience this year confirms that the fundamentals of customer service matter more than ever. 

Many complaints might have been avoided with better communication, and paying attention to a customer's individual circumstances is also essential. 

Banking

Banks' operations came under pressure due to Covid-19, and this was reflected in the levels and types of complaints we saw. Where we upheld complaints, it tended to be because businesses needed to communicate more effectively. But we've also encouraged consumers to be pragmatic and understanding.

 Our annual complaints data and insight into banking

Borrowing

Effective responses to customers' concerns about debt should be clear, empathetic and flexible. 

At the same time, businesses need to consider whether customers' concerns about current repayments could highlight an issue with the original lending. 

Our annual complaints data and insight into borrowing 

Insurance

Covid-19 caused significant disruption to many aspects of consumers' daily lives – from travelling within the UK and abroad, to weddings and special events. Over the year, we saw a 240% increase in complaints about travel and specialist insurance, where consumers had been affected by cancellations and restrictions imposed in the travel, leisure and hospitality industries. 

Our annual complaints data and insight into insurance

Investments and pensions

Investments and pensions are often among the most high-value financial products people hold – and in the event of changes in their value, our experience suggests that clear communication can make the difference in preventing complaints.  

Businesses could do more to explain why the value of investments might change. 

Our annual complaints data and insight into investments and pensions

Claims management companies (CMCs)

CMCs have also seen their operations impacted by Covid-19, which led to some complaints about updates and communication. We also received complaints about fees and commissions. 

For our annual complaints data about CMCs, visit our CMC website.

Our insight into complaints about CMCs

Complaints involving independent financial advisers (IFAs)

We publish a range of other data separately to our annual, quarterly and half-yearly data. On our website, we've published data relating to complaints involving financial advisers, and where relevant, the previous year's data for comparison. 

 

Complaints involving independent financial advisers

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