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PPI continues to top list of financial complaints

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
Payment Protection Insurance continues to dominate complaints received by the Financial Ombudsman Service while grievances about packaged bank accounts more than doubled, figures from its annual review reveal.

More than half (56%) of all new complaints taken to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2016 were about the sale of Payment Protection Insurance (PPI).

FOS received a total of 188,712 complaints about PPI during the year and by March 2016, it recorded a total of 1.5 million complaints in this area – accounting for half of all the complaints it had received since it was set up in 2001.

While FOS has seen a gradual fall in complaints about PPI, “looking ahead, a number of factors – including a proposed time limit for complaining about mis-sold PPI – could mean we see higher volumes once more, at least in the short term,” the report writes.

Also worryingly, the majority of cases bought to it are made by claims management companies (81.5%) while only 14.5% of cases are made directly by consumers.

FOS said: “We’ve continued to stress that people don’t need to use a claims manager to complain – but by the time a complaint is referred to us, people have usually already signed up with a claims company and agreed a contract appointing the claims manager as their representative.”

A total of 66% of the PPI complaints were upheld by FOS, which is slightly higher than the previous years from 2013.

However, as at 31 March 2016, 20% of complaints have been waiting for over two years to be resolved, 26.5% had been waiting between a year and two years, 20.5% had waited between six months and a year and 33% have been waiting for less than six months.

Other complaints received

Complaints about packaged bank accounts and payday loans more than doubled to 44,244 and 3,216 respectively – while complaints about credit broking fell by more than half to 563.

Again, a majority of the complaints bought to the FOS about packaged bank accounts were through claims management companies (61.5%) but the uphold rate was just 14%.

On investment-linked products, a total of 3,182 complaints were received – a 2% increase and within this, the majority of complaints were about film partnerships, unit trusts and investment ISAs.

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