Complaints fall by 5%: PPI, current accounts and general insurance still most complained about products

The latest complaints data published by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) shows financial services firms received 2,358,732 new complaints between January and June 2014.

Overall complaints decreased by 5% from the 2,493,729 complaints received in the previous six months.

The top five most complained about firms, in terms of the number of complaints received in the first half of 2014, were:

  • Barclays Bank Plc - 278,426 (a decrease of 10% since the second half of 2013)
  • Bank of Scotland plc - 265,640 (an increase of 46% since the second half of 2013)
  • Lloyds Bank PLC - 264,115 (an increase of 3% since the second half of 2013)
  • National Westminster Bank Plc - 140,342 (a decrease of 20% since the second half of 2013)
  • Santander UK Plc – 135,611 (a decrease of 13% since the second half of 2013)

The FCA’s director of policy, risk and research, Christopher Woolard, said:

‘It’s important that firms now get on top of the issues that are driving complaints. Although it’s encouraging to see the total number of complaints fall, there is clearly further work to be done to ensure that consumer interests come first.’

The top five most complained about products and services in the first half of 2014 were:

  1. Payment protection insurance – 1,236,899 complaints (down 11%, compared to the previous 6 months)
  2. Current accounts –319,505 complaints (up 3%, compared to the previous 6 months)
  3. Other general insurance – 318,502 complaints (down 1%, compared to the previous 6 months)
  4. Credit cards –127,708 complaints (down 10%, compared to the previous 6 months)
  5. Savings, including cash ISAs, and other banking -  89,767 complaints (up 4%, compared to the previous 6 months)

By product group, the firms with the largest number of complaints opened in the first half of 2014 were:

Banking

  • Santander UK Plc - 91,158
  • Barclays Bank Plc - 88,792
  • HSBC Bank Plc - 65,865
  • National Westminster Bank Plc - 62,175
  • Lloyds Bank PLC - 42,245

Home finance (mortgages and equity release products)

  • Bank of Scotland plc - 16,204
  • Santander UK Plc - 11,141
  • NRAM plc - 7,863
  • HSBC Bank Plc - 5,880
  • Barclays Bank Plc - 5,874

General insurance and pure protection (including payment protection insurance)

  • Lloyds Bank PLC - 219,306
  • Bank of Scotland plc - 205,526
  • Barclays Bank Plc - 180,112
  • MBNA Limited - 107,481
  • National Westminster Bank Plc - 72,800

Decumulation, Life and Pensions

  • The Prudential Assurance Company Limited - 7,084
  • Friends Life Limited - 6,299
  • Aviva Life Services UK Limited - 5,840
  • Scottish Widows Plc - 5,674
  • Phoenix Life Limited - 3,863

Investments

  • Barclays Bank Plc - 2,844
  • Financial Administration Services Limited - 1,912
  • HSBC Bank Plc - 1,912
  • Bank of Scotland plc - 1,647
  • Hargreaves Lansdown Asset Management Limited - 1,572

PPI remains the most complained about product, with 1,236,899 complaints. This accounted for 52% of all complaints and 78% of complaints about general insurance and pure protection products.

The total amount of redress paid fell by 12% from £2.65bn in the second half of 2013 to £2.34bn in the first half of 2014. This was largely due to a 17% fall in the number of complaints closed about general insurance and pure protection products (including PPI), which made up 89% of all redress payments in the first half of 2014.

Complaints against banks and building societies accounted for 66% of all complaints in the first half of 2014, followed by 13% against general insurance intermediaries and 8% against other insurers.

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 for editors

  1. The complaints data.
  2. Previous complaints data.
  3. 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.  
  4. Firms do not 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.
  5. On the 1 April 2013 the Financial Conduct Authority (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).
  6. 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.
  7. Find out more information about the FCA.