Consumer Panel disappointed by increase in complaints

20 May 2014

The Consumer Panel has expressed disappointment at the latest complaint figures published today in the Financial Ombudsman Service’s Annual Review. While there was some good news, such as a reduction in complaints about credit cards and unsecured loans, this was overshadowed by the significant increase in complaints about packaged bank accounts and the higher number of complaints overall.

The latest figures come a day after the announcement of the new Banking Standards Review Council, the body that will set standards for “culture, competence and customer outcomes”.

Sue Lewis, Consumer Panel Chair, said:

"These dismal figures show the gulf between the banks' promises on culture change and what they actually deliver. It is particularly disappointing that so many complaints about current accounts seem to come from consumers in financial difficulty.

The new Banking Standards Review Council has its work cut out based on today's report from the Ombudsman. It needs to drive radical change. This is a huge challenge given it doesn't have a proper statutory framework, or even solid backing from the UK's banks. Seven years after the financial crisis, the banks seem to have learned nothing except that they can get away with treating their customers badly time and time again."

Notes to editors

  1. The Consumer Panel is a statutory body under the Financial Services Act 2012. It was initially established by the Financial Servicse Authority in December 1998. The panel advises the FCA on the interests and concerns of consumers.
  2. The Panel's membership is drawn from a broad range of backgrounds with expertise including market research, law, financial services industry, financial inclusion, European Regulation, financial regulation, consumer advice, campaigning, communications, compliance and later-life issues.
  3. The emphasis of the Panel's work is on activities that are regulated by the FCA, although it may also look at the impact on consumers of activities outside but related to the FCA's remit. More information about the Panel's work is available here.