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Bank account complaints surge 35% in first half of 2017

Bank of Scotland and Barclays were the most complained-about banks

Complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) rose across almost every sector in the first half of the year.

There were around 170,000 new cases brought to the FOS in the first half of the year, a 13% increase compared to the last six months of 2016.

There was a 35% rise in complaints about current accounts during this time period, while PPI complaints increased by 14%.

Find out more: how to complain to the Ombudsman – our step-by-step guide

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Complaints about bank accounts skyrocket

Current account complaints increased by 35% from H2 2016 (7,976) to H1 2017 (10,799). The average uphold rate has remained stable at 28%.

There were particularly steep increases in complaints about admin and customer service. As the table below shows, Barclays, NatWest and Santander UK were the most complained-about banks for their current accounts.

Business Name H2 2016 H2 2016 Uphold H1 2017 New Cases H1 2017 Uphold
Barclays Bank 1,639 37% 2,219 41%
NatWest 1,136 29% 1,665 31%
Santander UK 1185 31% 1,628 29%
HSBC 833 18% 1,396 22%
Bank of Scotland 655 20% 837 13%

Complaints about PPI on the rise

The deadline to lodge a complaint about mis-sold PPI is 29 August 2019.

The stats show that PPI complaints rose by 14%, from 78,375 in H2 2016 to 89,513 in the first half of this year.

Gareth Shaw, Which? money expert, said: ‘The rise in upheld PPI complaints shows that this scandal is far from over. If you’ve had a complaint turned down by a bank and you disagree with the decision, you should take this up with the FOS.

‘There are still millions of pounds in compensation available to consumers who were mis-sold PPI. We’re urging consumers to use our free PPI claim tool rather than claims management companies, who can charge up to a third of the compensation offered, before it’s too late.’

Are complaints being upheld?

The FOS is resolving PPI complaints at an average rate of 41%. The most complained-about provider, Bank of Scotland, had 34% of complaints upheld and Lloyds Bank had 42% – broadly in line with the average rate.

The FOS were more successful with PPI claims against Barclays (49%) and Capital One (54%) but only upheld 7% of cases against Nationwide.

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