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Financial complaints pushed higher by pension claims rise

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The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has reported a 39% increase in overall complaints against financial products.

New complaints about self-invested person pensions (SIPPs) rose to 176 during the three months from July to September, up from 132 for the previous quarter.

Personal pensions complaints jumped to 381 from 330, and problems with annuities generated 125 claims in the period, up from 120 during the three months to June.

State earnings-related pension (SERPs) caused 115 new complaints, up from 112, and occupational pension transfers and opt-outs led to 88 claims, a slight rise from 83.

Average complaint figures about investment products are a mixed bag, with some products sending figures higher while others show signs of improvement during the quarter.

Complaints about investment ISAs rose to 242 during the three months to July, up from 210 for the previous three months.

Unit-linked investment bonds complaints also jumped, with 202 complaints compared to 172 for the three months to June.

Open-ended investment companies (OEICs) generated 61 claims, down from 79.

Complaints about “with-profits” bonds also fell, down to 86 from 105.

Portfolio management was another area where the number of claims decreased, with 272 new claims compared to 313.

However complaints about guaranteed bonds, non-regulated and regulated, rose, as did complaints about endowment savings plans.

An increase in complaints about payment protection insurance (PPI) was largely responsible for the overall rise in the number of complaints being directed to the FOS.

Overall, people brought a total of 143,177 new complaints to the service in the period, a 39% increase on last year, when the FOS received 103,000 claims.

PPI, again, accounted for most of the increase, having racked up more than 115,000 new claims in the period, an 81% share of the total.

Current accounts were the second most complained-about product, upsetting 3,705 new customers in the quarter.




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