Our newly published data shows the number of financial complaints received in the second half of 2023 rose by a fifth.

Overall, we received a total of 95,349 complaints between 1 July and 31 December 2023, compared to 79,921 complaints in the same period in 2022.

Banking and credit complaints were the main driver of the rise – with current accounts and credit cards making up over 40% of cases within this sector. Current account complaints continue to be dominated by disputes over fraud and scams.

Credit card complaints were the other sizeable category within the banking sector with an all-time high of 5,660 complaints in the last three months of 2023. This was driven by an increase in perceived unaffordable and irresponsible lending by financial firms.

We also saw an increase in general insurance cases – with car or motorcycle insurance complaints rising the sharpest. This is partly due to continued delays in firms being able to put things right when a claim is made, as well as insurer’s valuation of a vehicle.

Commenting on the new figures, Abby Thomas, Chief Executive and Chief Ombudsman, said:

In light of the continuing economic challenges people face, it’s always concerning to see complaint levels continue to rise.

People’s relationships with their banks and insurers are incredibly important, with many relying on these businesses for their homes, their cars and their livelihoods. That’s why I’m determined to ensure firms create an environment which is fair and transparent for all consumers.

If customers don’t feel they’ve been treated fairly, they can come to our free and independent service, and we’ll investigate their complaint.

In the last six months of 2023, we upheld 36% of complaints in the consumers’ favour, compared to 34% in the second half of 2022.

The headline figures are:

  • 62,139 new banking and credit complaints in H2 2023, compared to 50,346 in H2 2022
  • 22,845 new general insurance/pure protection complaints in H2 2023, compared to 19,346 in H2 2022
  • 3,877 new mortgages and home finance complaints in H2 2023, compared to 4,160 in H2 2022
  • 3,996 new decumulation life and pension complaints in H2 2023, compared to 3,842 in H2 2022
  • 2,311 new complaints about investments in H2 2023, compared to 2,427 in H2 2022
  • 181 new complaints about funeral planning in H2 2023 (H2 2022 data unavailable).

Read the full H2 2023 complaints data.

Notes to editors

About the time periods

References to H2 2023 relate to 1 July 2023 to 31 December 2023
References to H2 2022 relate to 1 July 2022 to 31 December 2022.

About the Financial Ombudsman Service

The Financial Ombudsman Service was set up by Parliament to resolve individual complaints between financial businesses and their customers on a fair and reasonable basis, as a free alternative to the courts. It can look into problems involving most types of money matters. It is committed to sharing insight and experience to encourage fairness and confidence in financial services.

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