The Financial Ombudsman Service has published the latest complaint figures against financial firms, with banks continuing to dominate.
In total the Ombudsman, which acts as an arbiter when a complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction, took on 164,347 cases over the second half of 2015, a 6 per cent decrease on the previous period.
The PPI scandal continues to dominate the workload of the Ombudsman, with 92,000 new complaints opened against the banks in the last six months of 2015.
As the redress scheme for mis-sold payment protection insurance starts to draw to a close, tens of thousands of customers are still reporting problems with the compensation programme.
The ombudsman finds in favour of the customers in just over half of all the cases it opens. However, this figure masks a gulf between firms, with some companies losing 97 per cent of the cases brought against them, while others lose just 5 per cent.
In keeping with its large size, Lloyds Banking Group remains the most complained-about bank. New complaints about Lloyds to the ombudsman rose 8 per cent to 45,585. Barclays’ complaints fell 11 per cent to 18,357, while complaints against RBS, HSBC and Santander also declined.
A separate study revealed how firms react to complaints on social media.
That suggested that the banking sector provided the best responses.
“The financial services sector has been through a challenging and volatile period in the eight years since the ombudsman first began to publish data about individual financial businesses,” said Caroline Wayman, the chief financial ombudsman.
“Complaints about PPI still continue to make up over half of our workload. During 2015, PPI complaints finally began to approach stable levels – but we are still seeing the volume of cases at a much higher level than many people expected.”
The compensation bill from the banks forced to repay consumers mis-sold PPI is now at £22.2bn and despite the Financial Conduct Authority planning to put a deadline on complaints of spring 2018, there is little sign of a let up in the tide of fed-up consumers.
A separate report showed that claims management firms have taken almost a quarter of the money paid out for payment protection insurance (PPI) compensation.
The National Audit Office said companies that handle such claims had taken between £3.8bn and £5bn from April 2011 to November 2015.
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