Voice of the Customer

Consumer complaints about financial firms climbed by eight per cent during the first half of 2015, according to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

The watchdog believes that the rise in complaints is due to a number of packaged bank accounts mis-sold to customers, as well as complaints regarding payment protection insurance (PPI).

Approximately 1,000 complaints regarding mis-packaged account sales are being received by the Ombudsman every week. Complaints about PPI were down by ten per cent compared to the previous year half, but still accounted for 55 per cent of all complaints received by the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman reports that while claims have been slowing, there are still more being received than banks had anticipated.

Claims management companies are partially responsible for the rise in complaints about packaged accounts, with firms previously pursuing PPI claims now focusing on mis-sold accounts according to the watchdog.

The wave of new complaints, in addition to the Ombudsman’s ruling in the consumer’s favour in of 57 per cent of cases, has triggered fears that a compensation problem could trouble the banking industry.

The Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and Lloyds have set aside £732 million to compensate customers who were mis-sold packaged accounts, while banks have also set aside £28 billion in compensation for PPI claims.

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