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Ombudsman reports record-breaking financial complaint figures

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  • 02/08/2011
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Ombudsman reports record-breaking financial complaint figures
Consumer watchdog the Financial Ombudsman Service saw a record number of financial services complaints - 81,000 in the quarter to June - double the amount last year.

Complaints about Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) accounted for the vast majority, or 69%, but mortgage complaints crept up to 2.5% in fourth place, after credit cards at 7% and current accounts at 4%.

Elsewhere, at least by comparison, things were relatively stable over the first
Quarter, said the Ombudsman, clearly struggling with the impact of PPI.

Tony Boorman, principal ombudsman and decisions director said it welcomed the fall in complaints on current accounts and had split out the increase in home emergency cover claims for the first time.

“But while we are on this rollercoaster of fast-changing complaint numbers,
we should exercise some care about interpreting snapshots,” said Boorman.

“We won’t really know what it has been like until we reach the end – and get our feet back on solid earth,” he said.

The watchdog received an average of 900 PPI complaints each day over the last quarter with the period coinciding with both the High Court decision on the PPI judicial review and the decision by the British Bankers’ Association not to appeal that decision.

In the upcoming quarter, FOS said it expected to see record complaints resolved by banks alongside record numbers of cases upheld in the coming months, in the latest Ombudsman News.

In its next quarterly report in September, the watchdog plans to split out the PPI figures, from other general insurance products. The report will also outline the level of PPI complaints for each provider to give an industry-wide view and single out the worst offenders.

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