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Increase in consumer complaints to the FSA

Most complaints about Barclays

FSA complaints

Overall number of complaints up by 3%

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has published complaints data as well as firm-specific complaints data for the first half of 2011.

The headline figures show that the overall number of complaints has increased by 3% to 1.85 million for the first six months of this year. This was mainly due to a 23% rise in PPI complaints to 531,667.

Banking complaints actually fell to 812,197 – their lowest level since the first six months of 2008 and a 22% decrease on a year ago.

The FSA aggregate data covers the total volume of complaints received according to product, type of firm and cause of the complaint. The data also covers the proportion of complaints resolved and upheld and the total redress paid during this six-month period.

Most complaints about Barclays

Barclays Bank received the highest number of complaints (251,563) followed by Lloyds TSB (181,907), Santander (168,888) and NatWest (147,109). Lloyds Banking Group had most complaints when all its brands were added together.

Some 53% of closed Barclays cases were upheld in the customers’ favour. This a higher proportion than Santander (49%) and HSBC (35%), but lower than NatWest (69%) and Lloyds TSB (58%).

There was some more good news for Santander in that 98% of cases were dealt with within the eight week timeframe, compared with 77% at Lloyds TSB, 86% at NatWest, 89% at Barclays and 90% at HSBC.

Banks should compete for customers

Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith said of the data: ‘The big high street banks attract a huge number of complaints and have a poor track record for customer satisfaction, yet few people vote with their feet by switching providers. This shows that the market isn’t working.

‘We need to create a market where banks have to compete for their customers with good value products and better service. The regulator must act to promote competition by dramatically improving the switching process so banks have a simple choice – look after your customers or lose them.’

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