Financial Ombudsman reveals most common consumer complaints
The Financial Ombudsman Service – the independent organisation that settles disputes between consumers and financial companies – has published shocking figures detailing how almost 5,000 consumers are unhappy with their level of service every day.
The Ombudsman annual review covering the 2011/2012 financial year revealed that the service received over 1.2 million front-line enquiries and complaints from consumers.
1 in 5 of these initial enquiries went on to become formal disputes – a record 264,375 new cases, up 28% on the previous year – with 157,716 cases (60%) of complaints about the sale of payment protection insurance (PPI) – the highest number of complaints ever received about a single financial product.
All areas of the UK saw similar-sized increases in the number of consumers bringing complaints to the ombudsman – with “complaint hotspots” in Glasgow, Swansea and Bristol.
“This year’s been a struggle for many consumers, who’ve found themselves burdened by debt, besieged by claims companies and bewildered by the complexity of financial services. This has made our work at the ombudsman service more challenging – but more crucial – than ever before,” reflected Natalie Ceeney, Chief Ombudsman.
“I believe there’s something we can all learn from what we’ve seen this year – to help prevent future problems and complaints. What’s gone wrong in the past doesn’t need to happen again – as long as we remember that “complaints” are about real people, not numbers, and that “complaints handling” is about customer service, not box ticking.”
Additional statistics from the ombudsman’s annual review show:
- 18% of people across the UK said they’d had a problem with a financial product or service in 2011/2012
- PPI complaints made up 62% of cases from the North East of England compared with 48% from the South East.
However, the Financial Ombudsman is not the only service available to you should you feel you’ve been let down a financial company. Our legal team are here to make sure you’re mistreatment is properly compensated. Contact us today to see how we can help.