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Black Horse Finance, Blemain and Landmark Mortgages top FCA complaint table

by: Heather Greig-Smith
  • 26/04/2017
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Black Horse Finance, Blemain and Landmark Mortgages top FCA complaint table
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published comprehensive data under new rules which capture all complaints, including those which had swiftly been resolved.

Firms reported a total of 3.04m complaints in the second half of 2016 – many of which relate to PPI (895,000). Under the old system complaints resolved by the next business day were not included in the data.

Regulated home finance products, including mortgages, generated around 95,000 complaints in 2016 H2, while unregulated products had around 16,000 complaints. Home finance, including mortgages, made up 4% of all complaints (116,910 in total).

Black Horse Finance, part of Lloyds Banking Group (LBG), topped home finance complaints, with 1115.9 complaints per 1,000 outstanding balances. However, this figure is understood to include complaints on accounts no longer owned by LBG, artificially inflating the figure. It was followed by Landmark Mortgages at 43.3, Blemain Finance (part of Together Money) at 42.4 and Pepper UK at 42 per 1,000.

Landmark Mortgages, owned by US private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, was criticised last year for failing to pass the Bank of England’s rate cut on to its ex-Northern Rock mortgage customers. The firm purchased Landmark from UK Asset Resolution in 2015.

Blemain is part of the Together Group, while Pepper is the UK arm of the Australian group. Mortgage lender LendInvest recently agreed a deal to outsource its mortgage servicing to Pepper.

The lenders were contacted but declined to comment. Pepper was unavailable to comment at the time of publishing.

There were just fewer than 2,000 complaints about second and subsequent charge mortgages and 2,200 for impaired credit mortgages. Equity release products received around 1,300 complaints.

Intermediary Connells had 18.1 complaints per 1,000 sales, followed by Sesame at 2.1 and First Plus Financial Group at 1.6. Only firms with at least 500 complaints for the period are included in the tables.

Of all home finance complaints, 95% were closed within eight weeks, while 44% were closed within three days. 60% of complaints were upheld and around £23m was paid in redress.

Excluding PPI, the number of complaints was 2.15 million. Current accounts were the next most complained about product with around 514,000.

In total £1.9bn has been paid out in redress in 2016 H2 – including £1,590m for PPI.

The FCA believes the new data set is more informative because it shows the number of complaints against the size of the business. It also provides greater insight about the products that consumers complain about.

Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition, said: “Consumers want a simple way to complain that does not leave them out of pocket. And they want to be assured that their concerns will be dealt with fairly and quickly.

“These data will provide us with improved intelligence on complaints including new detailed data to show where industry is potentially failing consumers at product level.”

Using sample data, the FCA estimates that the total number of complaints is lower than in the first half of 2016 by approximately 14%.

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