our year

This annual review shows vividly how the times we're living in affect how we feel about and manage money. And through keeping up our focus on working flexibly, we resolved the problems people brought to us more quickly than ever. It's clear openness, cooperation and pragmatism can pay off - both for the financial services sector and for the people who rely on it to work fairly.

Caroline Wayman, chief ombudsman & chief executive

Caroline Wayman's video

Our focus continues to be on providing a service with our ombudsmen at its heart, using their knowledge and experience to guide towards fair and reasonable conclusions. We recognise the speed at which technology, ways of communication and customer expectations change. So we are constantly looking towards the future and what we need to do to be able to meet those expectations.

Sir Nicholas Montagu KCB, chairman

what we've seen: uncertainty

We've heard from people with a range of complaints reflecting the uncertainty of global and national events - and the ongoing challenge of mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) has continued to unfold.

Richard Thompson, ombudsman

The publication of the FCA's guidance is undoubtedly good news for consumers and businesses waiting to move forward with their PPI complaints. But there's still a fair amount of uncertainty.

Richard Thompson, ombudsman

168,769 new complaints about PPI

140,000 PPI complaints affected by the case of Plevin

41% rise in complaints about travel insurance

54% fall in complaints about packaged bank accounts

what we've seen: vulnerability

We've heard from people from all walks of life experiencing vulnerability - struggling to repay high-cost loans, having difficulties with debt and mental health, or falling victim to fraudsters.

Juliana Francis, ombudsman

Lenders have a responsibility to treat you fairly once they're aware you can't repay as originally intended. And if they don't, that's where we come in.

Juliana Francis, ombudsman

10,529 new complaints about payday loans

59% complaints about payday loans upheld

89% rise in complaints about consumer credit

318% more complaints about instalment loans

what we've seen: changing times

The problems people brought to us reflected changing times - from new technologies, lifestyles and working patterns, to what people are buying and how.

Simon Rawle, ombudsman

Businesses going bust, Fintech, travel restrictions and train strikes - all these things have an impact on people using financial services.

Simon Rawle, ombudsman

16 ombudsman decisions involving cannabis farms

64% rise in complaints about hire purchase

33% proportion of under 25s' complaints were about bank accounts

more complaints about hybrid cars

how we've helped

Resolving complaints quickly isn't just about meeting the expectations of people used to managing things online. It can mean the difference between people losing or keeping their home. We've ensured that our ombudsmen's expertise and experience remain right at the heart of our service - reflecting the fact that fairness is and always will be foremost for us.

Caroline Wayman, chief ombudsman & chief executive

how we've helped

A cancer charity phoned us about Mr C, who'd been given just a few weeks to live. He was worried his life cover wouldn't pay out and that his wife would struggle after he died …

Miss G, who'd been struggling with her mortgage, had been told her home would be repossessed. Her husband was ill and she was finding things overwhelming …

Mr G's business had lost money through a hoax website. His bank said his employee had been 'grossly negligent' and wouldn't refund the money …

336,381 complaints resolved this year

43% overall proportion of complaints we upheld

83% complaints resolved within 3 months (except PPI)

how we've helped

Caroline Mitchell, ombudsman

Financial advisers have had the chance to challenge us and FCA together - and to get the assurance they need that we're on the same page.

Caroline Mitchell, ombudsman

Steve Townsley, ombudsman

Most claims managers have now realised that packaged bank accounts are very different products to PPI.

Steve Townsley, ombudsman

David Millington, ombudsman

It's about knowing how to listen, knowing the right questions to ask, and having the sound judgement to reach a fair answer.

David Millington, ombudsman