Almost all of the new mortgage complaints received during the year were related to house purchases.
Just over 7,000 mortgage complaints were resolved during the financial year, some of which were received during previous years. The majority, some 5,401, were settled by the borrower and lender, without the intervention of FOS. Of the 1,644 complaints resolved by FOS, a quarter were upheld in the complainant’s favour.
New complaints about secured loans also fell year on year.
Between 2018/19 and 2019/20, gripes about secured loan complaints dropped by 54 per cent from 655 to 299.
Just over 100 complaints that were resolved in the 2019/20 financial year were done so by the ombudsman, with 425 being resolved between the borrower and lender. Of those complaints resolved by FOS, just under half were upheld.
Complaints made about income protection fell 14 per cent year on year from 1,016 to 877.
Overall, FOS received 270,000 new complaints about financial businesses, a 30 per cent drop on the previous year. This was down to a fall in complaints about Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) and short-term lending.
Despite the positive trend in this infamous category, PPI was still the most complained about financial product generating more than 122,000 complaints.
This included a spike following the Financial Conduct Authority’s 2019 August deadline to draw a line under the mis-selling scandal that has cost banks millions of pounds.
The financial products that triggered the largest year on year increases in complaints were instalment loans, which increased by 111 per cent from 5,162 to 10,880, guarantor loans that rose 97 per cent from 529 to 1,043 and point of sale loans up by six per cent from 4,384 to 4,667.
Caroline Wayman (pictured), chief ombudsman and chief executive of the Financial Ombudsman Service, said: “The fundamentals of good customer service, and good complaint handling, are constant, and the majority of financial businesses know this.
“However, some businesses still need to put fairness first in how they handle customer complaints. A key part of our work in the future will be to proactively prevent complaints, to stop unfairness arising in the first place.”