The latest complaints data published by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) shows financial services firms received 2,183,540 new complaints (including those related to PPI) between July and December 2014. Overall complaints decreased by 7% compared to the previous six months and by 12% from the same period last year.
However, excluding payment protection insurance (PPI), complaints increased by 1% to 1,124,622 between the first and second halves of 2014 and by 2% when compared with the same period in 2013. This increase was mainly caused by an 8% rise in the number of complaints relating to banking and credit cards group of products over the six months to the end of December. All other product categories showed decreases in the period.
The FCA’s director of strategy and competition, Christopher Woolard, said:
"Today’s statistics offer a mixed picture. When you take PPI out of the equation, complaints are still on the up. So, while the overall decreases we have seen should be welcomed there is still more for financial services firms to do. The FCA’s challenge to those firms is to put the necessary measures in place to ensure we see a consistent fall across all sectors."
PPI accounted for less than half (48%) of complaints for the first time in the last three years but remained the most complained about product with 1,058,918 opened complaints in 2014 H2. The number of PPI complaints opened decreased by 14% to 1,058,918 in the second half of 2014 compared to the first six months of the year.
The total redress paid increased by 4% to £2.44bn in in the second half of 2014, from £2.34bn in the first half of the year. 88% of this amount (£2.15bn) related to general insurance and pure protection products, which include PPI. The redress paid in relation to banking and credit card products increased by 64% to £145m between July and December. This constituted 6% of the total redress paid in the last six months of the year against 4% in the previous period.
The top five most complained about firms, in terms of the number of complaints received in the second half of 2014, were:
The top five most complained about products and services in the second half of 2014 were:
By product group, the firms with the largest number of complaints opened in the second half of 2014 were:
Banking and credit cards
Home finance (mortgages and equity release products)
General insurance and pure protection (including payment protection insurance)
Decumulation, Life and Pensions
The FCA publishes complaints data received from firms every six months, alongside aggregated figures covering the whole industry. The FCA requires firms which receive 500 or more complaints in a six month period to publish the information on their websites.
Last year the FCA consulted on changes to its complaint handling rules. The proposed reforms will further improve the system, making it less bureaucratic for firms, easier for consumers and will provide us with improved intelligence on complaints. This followed a review which found that while some improvements and innovations have already been made firms could and should be doing more. In particular, firms did not always consider the impact on consumers when designing and implementing processes and procedures.
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