Financial Ombudsman Service releases latest complaints data on individual financial businesses
14 September 2010
The Financial Ombudsman Service has released its third set of six-monthly complaints data relating to individual financial businesses – including banks, insurance companies and investment firms.
The data published today on the ombudsman’s website covers consumer complaints handled by the ombudsman service between 1 January and 30 June 2010. The data includes both the number of complaints received about individual businesses and the percentage of complaints upheld by the ombudsman service in favour of consumers.
During this six-month period, the ombudsman service received a total of 84,212 new complaints – a small increase on the 82,136 cases received in the second half of 2009. Of these new cases, 89% related to 160 financial businesses (out of more than 100,000 businesses covered by the ombudsman).
The number of new complaints about each of these individual businesses ranged from 30 to 12,750. Five financial services groups continued to have more than 3,000 complaints each, which together accounted for 47,507 cases – over half of all the new complaints received by the ombudsman during this six-month period, these are Lloyds-12,750, RBS-6,469, Santander-5,885, HSBC-4,031, Barclays-7,991.
The number of new complaints against each business is likely to be affected by the size of the business. However, experts consulted by the ombudsman were unable to agree how size (or market share) should be taken into account, when comparing complaints statistics across the financial services sector, you can see the report by following the link below.
The data published shows that in the first half of 2010 the ombudsman service upheld an average of 44% of complaints in favour of consumers, compared to 53% in the second half of 2009. Across the 160 individual businesses included in the complaints data, this uphold rate varied substantially between 14% and 100% upheld in favour of consumers.
During this period 15,000 complaints about unauthorised-overdraft charges were reviewed and closed. This followed the Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling in November 2009 – that the fairness of unauthorised-overdraft charges could not be challenged on the basis of the “test case” referred by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
Natalie Ceeney, chief executive and chief ombudsman, said:
“The latest set of complaints data shows that some businesses are really committed to ensuring that complaints are handled well, and are used to inform and improve the service they offer their customers.
However, the complaints data also shows there is still more that some businesses need to do to ensure that complaints are properly investigated and fairly resolved. The ombudsman is keen to continue to play its part and help businesses draw lessons from the complaints that we see, so disputes can be sorted out at the earliest opportunity.”
Financial Ombudsman Service Group Members
Representatives invited from:
Association of British Insurers
Association of Independent Financial Advisers
Banking and Loans Liaison Group
British Bankers Association
Building Societies Association
Finance and Leasing Association
Financial Ombudsman Service
Financial Services Authority
Financial Services Consumer Panel
Financial Services Smaller Businesses Practitioner Panel
Insurance Liaison Group
Investment Liaison Group