Customer Contact

With 4.13m made to 3,161 firms, the number of complaints in the UK’s financial sector has hit a new high during the first half of 2018, with PPI continuing to be the most complained about product.

This is an increase of 10% compared with the previous six-month period, when 3.76 million complaints about financial services products were received.

According to the regulator, complaints have been on the rise for four successive half years.

Payment protection insurance (PPI) complaints accounted for 42% of all gripes, according to the figures from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The watchdog revealed last week that £3.7bn has been paid out in compensation to customers since the launch of its PPI campaign fronted by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

It had previously revealed a surge in PPI complaints in its complaints data for the second half of 2017.

The campaign was launched in August last year to encourage people to make PPI complaints before the deadline on 29 August 2019.

The next most complained about products were current accounts, credit cards and motor and transport insurance.

Excluding PPI, complaints increased by 9% or 193,360 from the previous six months.

The proportion of non-PPI complaints closed by firms within three business days went down from 59% to 58%.

Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said: “Firms need to be doing all that they can to reduce complaints.

“It is clear that firms need to look at the cause of the rise in complaints and address these issues to prevent further increases.

“It should be a priority for firms to ensure good consumer outcomes are achieved and they should be making sure that they are taking the right steps to treat customers fairly.

“We are encouraged to see that figures are showing that more consumers are making a decision on whether to complain about PPI.”

The Big Four banks dominated the number of complaints received during the first half of the year and were all in the top four positions, with Barclays receiving the most at 426,361.

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