Overall complaints fell by 1.4%, driven by a reduction in complaints related to current accounts and savings accounts. PPI complaints rise

Published: 30/03/2016     Last Modified: 30/03/2016

Financial services firms received 2.11 million new complaints between July and December 2015, according to new complaints data published today by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Overall, there was a decrease of 1.4% in the number of complaints compared to the previous six months which was mainly driven by a 10% drop in complaints about current accounts and a 15% drop in complaints about savings accounts.

When payment protection insurance (PPI) is excluded, the number of complaints between July and December 2015 is reduced to 1.17 million. Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) remains the most complained about product, with complaints about PPI rising by 6% in the current period. Although current accounts saw one of the largest reductions in complaints numbers, they are still the second most complained about financial product in the period covered.

Christopher Woolard, Director of Strategy and Competition said:

“It is positive to see that the longer term reduction in the volume of complaints has continued into the latest period. Firms seem to have taken on board our previous feedback on levels of complaints and we are slowly seeing firms address these issues.

“However, firms still need to do all they can to reduce complaints and ensure that they are working in the best interests of consumers.”

The total redress paid to consumers fell to £1.97 billion between July and December 2015 which is slightly lower than the £1.98 billion paid between January and June 2015.

  • The fall in redress payments was mainly due to a 2% fall in payments related to general insurance and pure protection products, which includes PPI. This accounted for almost 82% of complaints redress payments.
  • Other product categories saw a reduction in redress payments between July and December 2015, except for banking and credit cards which increased by almost 27% and home finance which increased by 17%.

The top five most complained about products and services between July and December 2015 were:

  1. Payment protection insurance – 932,298 complaints (up 6% compared to the previous six months)
  2. Current accounts – 454,276 complaints (down 10% compared to the previous six months)
  3. Other general insurance – 296,505 complaints (down 3% compared to the previous six months)
  4. Credit cards –132,988 complaints (up 9% compared to the previous six months)
  5. Savings, including cash ISAs, and other banking – 67,546 complaints (down 15% compared to the previous six months)

Although we do not currently publish the number of complaints by number of customers or number of accounts - to put their figures into context in relation to the size of their business - we advise firms do so on their own websites. Our downloadable table provides a link to each firm’s website where you can find this additional information.

We will be providing more contextualisation information in future publications and will be requiring firms to publish this on their own websites (rather than doing so on a recommended basis) from February next year.

The top five most complained about firms all saw a reduction in levels of complaints received between July and December 2015:

  1. Barclays Bank Plc – 279,561 (a decrease of 1% since 2015 H1)
  2. Lloyds Bank Plc – 230,041 (a decrease of 1% since 2015 H1)
  3. Bank of Scotland Plc – 182,702 (a decrease of 4% since 2015 H1)
  4. National Westminster Bank Plc – 135,262 (a decrease of 7% since 2015 H1)
  5. HSBC Bank Plc – 120,986 (a decrease of 14% since 2015 H1)

By product group, the firms with the largest number of complaints opened in 2015 H2 were:

Banking and credit cards

  1. Barclays Bank Plc 133,335
  2. National Westminster Bank Plc 85,859
  3. Lloyds Bank PLC 76,480
  4. Santander UK Plc 64,622
  5. HSBC Bank Plc 62,721

Home finance (mortgages and equity release products)

  1. Bank of Scotland plc 11,606
  2. Santander UK Plc 7,331
  3. HSBC Bank Plc 6,296
  4. NRAM plc 6,107
  5. Barclays Bank Plc 5,740

General insurance and pure protection (including payment protection insurance)

  1. Lloyds Bank PLC 152,149
  2. Barclays Bank Plc 136,433
  3. Bank of Scotland plc 120,444
  4. MBNA Limited 81,377
  5. Home Retail Group Insurance Services Limited 54,296

Decumulation, Life and Pensions

  1. The Prudential Assurance Company Limited 8,063
  2. Friends Life Limited 5,496
  3. The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited 4,530
  4. Aviva Life Services UK Limited 4,023
  5. Phoenix Life Limited 3,215

Investments

  1. HSBC Bank Plc 3,007
  2. Barclays Bank Plc 2,880
  3. Equiniti Financial Services Limited 1,567
  4. Santander UK Plc 1,375
  5. The Prudential Assurance Company Limited 1,212

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.

Notes to editors

  1. A summary of the complaints data.
  2. More detailed data.
  3. Aggregate commentary.
  4. The FCA collates and publishes complaints data every six months, 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.
  5. In July 2015, the FCA published new rules on changes to its complaint handling rules. The reforms will further improve the complaints systems and procedures, making them 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. As a result of these rule changes, from March 2017 the FCA’s biannual complaint data release will change. This new, fuller data set will not be comparable to historic data published by the FCA. However, we believe that the new biannual complaint data publication will be more informative for consumers and industry (including figures to put the number of complaints into context in relation to the size of each business), and will provide better intelligence to the FCA.
  6. Firms do not currently have to report complaints to the FCA that have been resolved by close of business on the business day following their receipt. These complaints are not included in this data. Further information.
  7. On 1 April 2013, the FCA became responsible for the conduct and supervision of all regulated financial firms and the prudential supervision of those not supervised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).
  8. 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.
  9. Find out more information about the FCA.

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