The total number of new complaints received by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) in the financial year 2016/2017 was 321,283 – down by 6% from 340,899 in the previous year.
Mortgages accounted for 7% of overall complaints, falling from 7.5%.
The Financial Ombudsman Service’s annual review highlights an 8% drop in the volume of complaints received about mortgages from 11,288 to 10,428 in the financial year 2016/2017.
Of the types of businesses complained about, mortgage intermediaries represented 2.5%; a slight rise on the previous year when they accounted for 2% of complaints.
In the period, 8,750 complaints were resolved about general insurance and mortgage brokers, with 59% upheld.
Soaring consumer credit dissatisfaction
Complaints about consumer credit products and services rose from 9% of overall complaints to 17.5%.
The volume of new complaints received about products and services in this sector saw a sharp increase of 89% from 13,713 to 25,984 year-on-year.
Payday loan complaints rocketed by 227% from 3,216 grievances received in 15/16 to 10,529 in 16/17. Some 59% of the complaints resolved by FOS were upheld.
Grievances about guarantor loans rose by 182% year-on-year, and log book loan complaints increased by 75%.
Caroline Wayman, chief ombudsman and FOS chief executive, said: “The FCA’s action on high-cost short-term credit has had an impact and we’re generally looking into complaints about borrowing that pre-date its tougher rules. However, taken together with wider insight into consumer indebtedness, it’s clear that financial difficulties and financial exclusion, and the vulnerability they can both bring and result from, remain very current issues.”
Wayman added: “This year we continued to engage with the short-term lending sector including talking to trade associations and running a workshop for payday lenders to help prevent complaints and encourage fairness when problems arise.”
Customers who complained about secured loans rose by 2% year-on-year.
Building warranties caused 487 grievances compared to 287 in the previous year; a rise of 70%.
Complaints about critical illness cover increased by 14% from 747 to 849 year-on-year.