FCA publishes complaints data for the second half of 2012

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published the latest complaints data showing complaints to financial services firms between July and December 2012.

The figures show that there were 3,422,384 complaints in the period, an increase of one per cent on the first half of 2012. The top five complained about firms, in terms of the number of complaints opened in the second half of 2012, are:

  • Barclays Bank Plc - 414,302 (a decrease of 6% since the first half of 2012)
  • Lloyds TSB Bank Plc - 349,386 (a decrease of 19% since the first half of 2012)
  • Bank of Scotland Plc - 338,912 (a decrease of 7% since the first half of 2012)
  • MBNA Limited - 270,486 (a decrease of 3% since the first half of 2012)
  • Santander UK Plc - 237,923 (a decrease of 1% since the first half of 2012)

Firms with the largest numbers of customers will often have the largest number of complaints. By sector, the firms with the largest number of complaints opened in the second half of 2012, are:

Banking

  • Santander UK Plc – 125,451
  • Barclays Bank Plc – 118,031
  • National Westminster Bank Plc – 81,519
  • HSBC Bank Plc – 64,050
  • The Royal Bank of Scotland Plc – 37,380

Home finance

  • Santander UK Plc – 14,080
  • Bank of Scotland Plc – 8,628
  • Northern Rock (Asset Management Plc) – 8,312
  • Barclays Bank Plc – 5,257
  • HSBC Bank Plc – 4,359

General insurance and pure protection

  • Lloyds TSB Bank Plc – 312,668
  • Bank of Scotland plc – 291,096
  • Barclays Bank Plc – 286,919
  • MBNA Limited – 234,633
  • Capital One (Europe) plc – 135,379

Decumulation, Life and Pensions

  • The Prudential Assurance Company Limited – 7,788
  • Aviva Life Services UK Limited – 6,554
  • Phoenix Life Limited – 6,542
  • The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited – 3,773
  • Zurich Assurance Ltd – 3,154

Investments

  • Santander UK Plc – 2,236
  • Barclays Bank Plc – 2,151
  • Lloyds TSB Bank Plc – 2,009
  • HSBC Bank Plc – 1,695
  • Bank of Scotland plc – 1,659

The top five complained about financial products, in terms of number of complaints opened in the second half of 2012, are:

  • Payment protection insurance (PPI) - 2,170,537 (a 5% increase on the first half of 2012)
  • Current accounts – 304,196 (a 6% decrease on the first half of 2012)
  • Other general insurance products (excluding PPI) such as travel, motor or critical illness insurance – 296,679 (a 6% increase on the first half of 2012)
  • Credit cards – 283,705 (a 14% decrease on the first half of 2012)
  • Savings (including cash ISAs) and other banking products – 100,797 (a 20% decrease on the first half of 2012)

Complaints for all types of financial products decreased in the second half of 2012 with the exception of ‘general insurance and pure protection’ products (which includes PPI) which increased by 5% to 2,494,247. PPI complaints alone rose by 5% to 2,170,537 and accounted for 63% of all complaints.

The total amount of redress paid in the second half of 2012 was £2,946 million, a decrease from £3,169 million in the first half of the year.

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 over 500 opened complaints.

The number of complaints about banking products, such as current accounts, savings accounts and credit cards, decreased by 12% to 728,284. This represented an 8% decrease since the second half of 2011 and is at the lowest half-yearly number of such complaints since H2 2006.

Within banking products, the number of complaints about current accounts dropped by 6%, credit card complaints decreased by 14%, and complaints about savings and other banking products fell by 20%. Complaints about unregulated loans decreased by 18% and complaints about general insurance (excluding PPI) increased by 6%.

Martin Wheatley, FCA chief executive, said:

“Greater transparency drives greater competition, and the publication of the complaints data lays bare the track record of the UK’s financial institutions when it comes to resolving customer conflicts.

“When I meet with the bosses of the financial institutions they frequently tell me that they don’t want to be at the top of the table, which means they strive to improve both their sales and complaints handling processes. Not only does our data help consumers compare and contrast their current bank or lender, but it also boosts competition among firms too.”

The FCA requires firms with more than 500 complaints opened in a reporting period to publish this data on their websites.   The FCA collates that information and publishes it each spring and autumn, alongside aggregated figures covering the whole industry. 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 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).
  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. You can find more information about the FCA, as well as how it is different to the PRA, on our website.