(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Tue, 5 Sept 2017) London, Uk – –
More than 20,000 complaints about bank dealt with by financial ombudsman in first half of 2015, with Barclays and Lloyds also prompting many complaints
Bank of Scotland, Barclays and Lloyds have been named the three “most complained-about” financial firms so far this year.
The financial ombudsman dealt with a total of 60,000 new cases relating to these three banks in the space of six months, and also revealed that complaints involving NatWest have leapt by more than 50%.
The Financial Ombudsman Service took on a total of 173,994 new cases in the first half of 2015 – an increase of 8% on the second half of 2014.
Complaints about payment protection insurance (PPI) made up more than half of the total, adding to more than 94,000. However, this is 10,000 down on the number received in the second half of last year – which may indicate that complaints relating to mis-sold PPI are starting to tail off. The widespread mis-selling of this insurance by banks, credit card companies and other lenders has resulted in payouts totalling billions of pounds.
By contrast, complaints about financial products other than PPI jumped by 45% – largely because of a surge in new cases involving so-called packaged bank accounts that are being pursued by claims management firms on behalf of individuals.
Packaged bank accounts are a type of current account, offered by the likes of Lloyds and NatWest, that charges customers a monthly fee for a package of benefits that typically includes travel insurance, mobile phone insurance and card protection. During the last couple of years, concerns have been voiced that some financial institutions may have been mis-selling them – and complaints have soared to above 400 a week.
Bank of Scotland was the most complained-about financial brand during the first six months of 2015, with 20,288 cases. In second place was Barclays with 20,021 cases, and in third was Lloyds Bank with 19,818.
The equivalent figure for NatWest was 11,549 complaints, though this was up 51% on the 7,663 seen in the second half of last year.
Caroline Wayman, the chief ombudsman, said: “Complaints about PPI continue to make up over half of our workload. And though the number of new PPI cases has reduced in the first half of this year, the decline has not been as steady or as marked as generally expected. This is at least in part due to the continued high levels of activity by claims managers in this area.”
She added that claims firms had also been largely responsible for the sizeable increase in complaints about packaged bank accounts, “which have driven up our banking workload over this period by two thirds”.
By Rupert Jones