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Banking complaints rise by 7% in six months

05/09/2014

The Financial Ombudsman has announced that banking complaints have risen by 7% in the last 6 months.

The Financial Ombudsman (FOS), which is an independent service in the UK for settling disputes between businesses providing financial services and their customers, have released their latest data showing complaints to financial businesses including high street banks and big insurers. This showed banking complaints have increased by 7% in the last 6 months.

The FOS took on 191,129 new cases between January and June 2014, 70% of which were Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) claims. Overall, the total of complaints about PPI claims fell and looks to be its lowest in 3 years. Complaints about other financial products rose by 3% compared to the second half of 2013 to 57,310, with banking complaints increasing by 7% and complaints against insurers raising by 1%.

Chief ombudsman, Caroline Wayman, said that although the bulk of the ombudsman’s workload is the mis-sale of PPI, there has now been a shift in the type of complaints consumers are speaking to the FOS about. She said:
“We’re seeing more and more people turn to us in frustration where they feel their bank or insurer simply doesn’t understand or really care. And we’re hearing growing dissatisfaction from people about being processed industrially as a number rather than being listened to as an individual customer.

By giving their customers more thoughtful, considerate and personal responses – clearly setting out the reasoning behind an individual decision – we know that businesses can help sort out problems earlier on, prevent complaints being escalated to the ombudsman and rebuild trust and confidence more generally.”

Wayman believes businesses can help sort problems earlier on and prevent complaints being escalated to the ombudsman, and can build trust and confidence, but could be rise in complaints be a indicator that the public is still not happy with the service they are receiving from British banks?

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