Total number of complaints continues to fall

Financial services firms recorded a 2.6% reduction in new complaints between January and June 2016 compared to the previous six months, according to new complaints data published today by the Financial Conduct Authority. The total number of complaints was 2.05 million.

Payment protection insurance (PPI) is the most complained about product. The total number of PPI complaints was more or less unchanged at 0.93 million. Without PPI, the number of complaints was 1.12 million.

Complaints about current accounts have seen the largest reduction – 46,000 or 10% - in this period.

Christopher Woolard, Director of Strategy and Competition, said:

“To see another six months of reduction in the total number complaints is encouraging. 

“Firms still need to continue to ensure they are doing all they can to reduce consumer dissatisfaction, but the figures show firms are taking our feedback seriously”. 

The total redress paid to consumers was £1.96 billion which is less than 1% lower than the redress paid between July and December 2015.

  • All product categories saw a reduction in redress payments in the first half of 2016 from the second half of 2015, except for home finance group of products which increased by 2% and general insurance and pure protection (including PPI) which increased by 6%.
  • The top ten firms paid 85% of the total redress given to consumers in the first half of 2016. This is broadly consistent with the previous period during which the top ten firms accounted for 83% of total redress paid to consumers.

The top five most complained about firms between January and June 2016 (excluding consumer credit) were:

  • Barclays Bank Plc - 287,463 (an increase of 3% since the second half of 2015)
  • Lloyds Bank PLC - 213,163 (a decrease of 7% since the second half of 2015)
  • Bank of Scotland plc - 173,646 (a decrease of 5% since the second half of 2015)
  • HSBC Bank Plc - 124,891 (an increase of 3% since the second half of 2015)
  • National Westminster Bank Plc - 121,197 (a decrease of 10% since the second half of 2015)

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.

Our downloadable table provides a link to each firm’s website where you can find this information.

The FCA 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.

By product group, the firms with the largest number of complaints opened in the first half of 2016 were:

Banking and credit cards

  1. Barclays Bank Plc 124,361
  2. National Westminster Bank Plc 75,736
  3. Lloyds Bank PLC 71,409
  4. HSBC Bank Plc 65,313
  5. Santander UK Plc 58,199

Home finance (mortgages and equity release products)

  1. Bank of Scotland plc 9,894
  2. Santander UK Plc 8,760
  3. HSBC Bank Plc 6,715
  4. Landmark Mortgages Limited 5,894
  5. Barclays Bank Plc 5,272

General insurance and pure protection (including payment protection insurance)

  1. Barclays Bank Plc 153,718
  2. Lloyds Bank PLC 140,669
  3. Bank of Scotland plc 115,121
  4. MBNA Limited 75,995
  5. HSBC Bank Plc 49,292

Decumulation, Life and Pensions

  1. The Prudential Assurance Company Limited 6,161
  2. Friends Life Limited 5,874
  3. The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited 4,711
  4. Aviva Life Services UK Limited 3,267
  5. Phoenix Life Limited  3,109


  1. Barclays Bank Plc 3,422
  2. HSBC Bank Plc 3,269
  3. Santander UK Plc 2,453
  4. Equiniti Financial Services Limited 1,498
  5. Financial Administration Services Limited 1,474

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 April 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. 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).
  7. 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.
  8. Find out more information about the FCA.