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Complaints to banks and building societies up 70%

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The number of complaints to banks and building societies rose by almost 70% in the first half of the year, mainly related to sales of payment protection insurance (PPI), figures published by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) show.

The number of complaints to banks and building societies in the first half of 2012 totaled 2,767,913, an increase of 67% compared wih the second half of last year, the regulator said.

The increase was driven by a rise in the volume of complaints about ‘general insurance and pure protection’, which increased by 99% to 2,541,430.

Mortgage complaints have spiked 74% in six months, rising from 57,222 in the second half of 2011 to 95,363 complaints in the first half of 2012.

Overall, complaints caused by ‘advising, selling and arranging’ increased by 116% to 2,362,051. Of those, the overwhelming majority (2,256,707, equating to 96%) were about general insurance and pure protection products.

Like the Financial Ombudsman Service, the FSA publishes complaints statistics every six months.

The percentage of upheld complaints declined from 60% in 2011 H2 to 58% in 2012 H1. Again this was mainly caused by the upheld general insurance and pure protection complaints decreasing from 69% to 63%.

The total amount of redress paid increased from £2,250m in 2011 H2 to £3,155m in 2012 H1. Within this, redress paid for general insurance and pure protection products increased to £2,990m.

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