A record number of financial complaints has revealed that too many financial institutions are still failing to treat their customers fairly when things go wrong.
The figures have been published today by the Financial Ombudsman Service its annual review covering the 2011/12 financial year.
In response to the annual review, Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said: ‘The fact that over 250,000 people took their problem to the Ombudsman this year is further evidence that banks and insurers must transform the way they handle complaints.’
PPI complaints double
The review shows that during the year the ombudsman handled over a million front-line enquiries and complaints from consumers – around 5,000 each working day.
Around one in five of the initial consumer enquiries received turned into a formal dispute requiring the involvement of adjudicators and ombudsman – a record 264,375 new cases, up 28% on the previous year.
60% of the new cases were about the sale of Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) with the number more than doubling to 157,716 – the highest number ever received in a year about a single financial product.
Improve complaint handling
Mr Lloyd said: ‘The rise in the number of complaints for PPI mis-selling confirms the need for lenders to improve the way they compensate the huge numbers of people that were mis-sold this product.’
He added: ‘With over £9 billion set aside for PPI redress, it’s essential barriers that prevent people getting redress are removed, and quickly.’
- Mis-sold PPI? Use our free tool to reclaim PPI
- Need to go the Ombudsman? – follow our step-by-step guide to settling disputes
- Find out where to go if you have a bank complaint