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ombudsman news

issue 86

June/July 2010

ombudsman focus: our latest annual review - in a nutshell

In May we published our latest annual review, covering the financial year 2009/2010. As well as being our tenth anniversary annual review, it was also the most detailed we've yet produced - and the largest - with over 130 pages of facts and figures.

This reflected the fact that last year was our busiest ever, when we:

  • resolved a record 166,321 disputes - a 46% annual increase - resulting in compensation for consumers in 50% of cases; and
  • handled 925,095 consumer enquiries - over 3,500 each working day.

The feedback we have received about the annual review has been very positive. As always, the document has been distributed widely across the financial services industry and the consumer advice world. The range of facts and figures that it contains reflects the diverse audience the document caters for - from overseas regulators to local credit unions - and from front-line complaints handlers to policy advisers.

Here, we present the numbers from our annual review that we are most-frequently asked about throughout the year. For ease of reference we have drawn different figures together from various chapters of the annual review into single tables.

For more details, please refer to the full annual review.

5 top web hits for the annual review

most-visited sections of the online version of the annual review

our work - in numbers - for the financial year 2009/2010 (selected key statistics from our annual review)

our work - in numbers  
number of initial complaints and enquiries handled daily by our front-line customer-contact division 3,500
percentage of cases that we settled in less than six months 67%
number of complaints about the four most-complained about financial businesses 84,718
number of complaints about credit unions 14
% increase in the number of consumer credit complaints 110%
% decrease in the number of motor insurance complaints 13%
number of ombudsmen on our statutory panel of ombudsmen 55
average number of visitors to our website each month 210,000
number of enquiries to our technical advice desk 16,319
our income for the year £98.4 million
our unit cost for the year £555
number of cases where we told the financial business
to pay the consumer for distress and inconvenience
% of our customers who described themselves as 'disabled' 14%
% demographic downward shift from socio-economic group AB in consumers using our service 5%
percentage of complaints received from consumers aged under 25 4%

financial products complained about most frequently

  number of complaints in 2009/2010 as % of all complaints received change on previous year % upheld in 2009/2010 % upheld in 2008/2009
1. payment protection
insurance (PPI)
49,196 30% +58% 89% 89%
2. current accounts 25,252 15.5% +85% 20% 61%
3. credit cards 18,396 11% -1% 68% 76%
4. mortgages 7,469 4.5% -2% 37% 40%
5. consumer-credit
products and
6,329 4% +110% 58% 45%
6. unsecured loans 6,285 4% +48% 48% 49%
7. motor insurance 5,451 3.5% -13% 38% 50%
8. mortgage
5,400 3.5% -7% 38% 37%
9. savings accounts 5,033 3% -3% 51% 64%
10. whole-of-life
products and savings
4,199 2.5% +19% 26% 34%
all other complaints 33,311 - - - -
TOTAL 166,321 - - - -
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For printed copies of this or any of our publications, phone 020 7964 0092 or email publications.

ombudsman news gives general information on the position at the date of publication. It is not a definitive statement of the law, our approach or our procedure.

The illustrative case studies are based broadly on real-life cases, but are not precedents. Individual cases are decided on their own facts.