FCA data shows consumer complaints fall by 15%

Published: 09/04/2014   Last Modified : 10/04/2014

The latest complaints data published by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) shows 2,479,029 new complaints were opened against financial services firms between July and December 2013. This marks a fall of 15% compared to the 2,911,154 complaints reported in the previous six months.

The top five complained about firms, in terms of the number of complaints opened in the second half of 2013, are:

  • Barclays Bank Plc – 309,494 (a decrease of 17% since the first half of 2013)
  • Lloyds Bank Plc – 256,656 (an increase of 1% since the first half of 2013)
  • MBNA Limited - 213,311 (a decrease of 10% since the first half of 2013)
  • Bank of Scotland Plc – 181,353 (a decrease of 18% since the first half of 2013)
  • National Westminster Bank Plc – 175,731 (a decrease of 5% since the first half of 2013)

Martin Wheatley, FCA chief executive, said:

”No firm wants to top this particular list and they all should be striving to ensure that customers are being treated fairly and not given cause to complain.  This is an indication that firms seem to be putting customers at the heart of their business, however, there is clearly more for us all to do to show consumers their interests come first.”

The top five in terms of number of complaints opened in the second half of 2013, are:

  • Payment protection insurance (PPI) – 1,390,756 (a 22% decrease on the first half of 2013)
  • Other general insurance products – 321,812 (a 3% increase on the first half of 2013)
  • Current accounts – 303,110 (an 8% increase on the first half of 2013)
  • Credit cards – 140,829 (a 14% decrease on the first half of 2013)
  • Savings (including cash ISAs) and other banking products – 82,353 (a 16% decrease on the first half of 2013)

By product group, the firms with the largest number of complaints opened in the second half of 2013 are:

Banking

  • Santander UK Plc – 107,724
  • Barclays Bank Plc – 80,067
  • National Westminster Bank Plc – 68,585
  • HSBC Bank Plc – 58,929
  • Lloyds Bank Plc – 36,933

Home finance (mortgages and equity release products)

  • Bank of Scotland Plc – 15,075
  • Santander UK Plc – 12,257
  • Nationwide Building Society – 5, 236
  • Cheltenham & Gloucester Plc – 4,676
  • Barclays Bank Plc – 4,503

General insurance and pure protection (including payment protection insurance)

  • Barclays Bank Plc – 222,946
  • Lloyds Bank Plc – 217,277
  • MBNA Limited – 203,421
  • Bank of Scotland Plc – 133,850
  • National Westminster Bank Plc – 102,615

Decumulation, Life and Pensions

  • The Prudential Assurance Company Limited – 6,391
  • Friends Life Limited – 6,219
  • Phoenix Life Limited – 5,142
  • Aviva Life Services UK Limited – 4,458
  • The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited – 3,605

Investments

  • Hargreaves Lansdown Asset Management Limited – 3,173
  • Barclays Stockbrokers Limited – 1,799
  • Santander UK Plc – 1,791
  • Financial Administration Services Limited – 1,540
  • HSBC Bank Plc – 1,480

Firms with the largest numbers of customers will often have the largest number of complaints.

PPI complaints alone accounted for 56% of all complaints, down from 62% in the first half of 2013.

The total amount of redress paid in the second half of 2013 was £2.65bn, an increase from £2.55bn in the first half of the year.  94% of all redress payments were paid for GI and pure protection products which include PPI.

The number of complaints about banking products, such as current accounts, savings accounts and credit cards, fell by 3% compared with the first half of 2013 to 558,991. This represented a 23% decrease since the second half of 2012 and is at the lowest half-yearly number of such complaints since H2 2006.

Within banking products, the decrease was driving by a fall in complaints about unregulated loans, down by 8%, credit cards where complaints dropped by 14% and savings and other banking products down by 16%.  There was, however, a rise in the number of complaints about current accounts which increased by 8%.

Highlighting complaints data can only help to drive up standards in customer service and improve how firms deal with those who choose to trust them with their money.

The FCA collates that information and publishes it each spring and autumn, alongside aggregated figures covering the whole industry. The data, which can be found on the FCA website, is presented in two different formats: aggregate data showing the overall number of complaints made, and firm-specific data showing figures for individual firms reporting 500 or more opened complaints.  These firms are also required to publish the data on their own websites.

Notes for editors

  1. The complaints data.
  2. Previous complaints data can be found on the FSA website.
  3. On 1 April 2013 the FCA became responsible for the conduct supervision of all regulated financial firms and the prudential supervision of those not supervised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).
  4. The FCA has an overarching strategic objective of ensuring the relevant markets function well. To support this it has three operational objectives: to secure an appropriate degree of protection for consumers; to protect and enhance the integrity of the UK financial system; and to promote effective competition in the interests of consumers.
  5. Find out more information about the FCA.

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