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Mortgage complaints up slightly – FOS

  • 30/09/2020
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Mortgage complaints up slightly – FOS
Complaints about mortgages and home finance increased marginally in the first half of the year, according to the latest data from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).


The FOS received 2,960 new mortgage and home finance-related complaints from January to June, up from 2,918 in the last six months of 2019.

This remains one of the smaller areas of casework for the FOS with banking and credit, and payment protection insurance (PPI) dominating its work, generating 45,165 and 40,556 cases respectively during the period.

Mortgage-related complaints received are largely reflective of lender market share, with Lloyds Bank, the biggest in the market, generating a combined 703 complaints across its brands, however the bank saw a below average uphold rate.

Santander, Barclays, Nationwide, Royal Bank of Scotland including NatWest, and HSBC accounted for a further 1,342 complaints received by the FOS.

Several closed-book lenders and administrators connected with mortgage prisoners also feature high up the list of complaints with a combined 255 cases.

UK Asset Resolution with its NRAM and Bradford and Bingley books accounted for 94 complaints, Topaz Finance for 63, Landmark Mortgages generated 56 and Elderbridge had 42 cases.

A Lloyds Banking Group spokeswoman told Mortgage Solutions: “We always want to provide our customers with the best possible service and we have a clear focus on removing the things that cause customers to complain.

“These figures demonstrate that the ombudsman agrees with our decisions in the vast majority of cases and we continue to work with them to make improvements.”


Advice complaints

Adviser complaints are dwarfed by lender cases and the FOS only publishes data for firms which have received and resolved at least 30 cases for the whole group.

Legal and General Partnership Services was the most complained about advice firm generating just 23 mortgage-related complaints.

It also had the highest upheld rate with 46 per cent of cases found in favour of the customer – the average for mortgage complaints was 23 per cent.

Sesame and St James Place were the only other advice firms to be listed with 20 and five cases respectively.

A Legal & General spokesman said: “These cases are the result of a historical issue we identified which resulted from a previous appointed representative of Legal & General.

“As a company that is committed to the responsibility of treating customers fairly, we have reached out to all customers who could have been affected.”


Non-PPI cases rising

Overall 105,721 complaints were received by the FOS in the first six months of 2020.

Of these, 76,624 were non-PPI complaints which was slightly more than the 75,887 received in the previous reporting period and it appears the PPI bubble may be deflating, as banking complaints have overtaken it.

The Financial Ombudsman Service upheld 31 per cent of complaints in the consumers’ favour, but excluding PPI it was 42 per cent.

“The uphold rate for banking and credit complaints was 49 per cent for the first half of 2020,” the FOS said.

“While this is a decrease compared to the uphold rate for banking and credit complaints in the second half of 2019, which was 54 per cent, it remains the highest of any sector.”

In all, 225 businesses feature in the complaints data to 223 in the previous six-month period – with uphold rates for individual businesses ranging from 94 per cent to three per cent.

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