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Fraud and scams drive rise in current account complaints

Samantha Partington
Written By:
Samantha Partington
Posted:
Updated:
15/02/2023

Current accounts topped the list of the most complained about financial products due to a rise in fraud and scam complaints, according to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

In its latest report, FOS revealed that 6,082 complaints were made about current accounts between October and December last year reflecting a 10% rise in complaints compared to the same period in 2021.

Almost 40% of current account complaints were upheld in the customer’s favour.

The rise in fraud and scam current account complaints, which includes Authorised Push Payment (APP), identification theft and chip and pin disputes, was up almost two thirds from 2,884 in the final three months of 2021 to 3,768 in the same period last year.

The effects of fraud and scam attacks were felt by customers across all financial products, the ombudsman said. It received in total 5,849 fraud and scam grievances between October and December last year, a rise of 30% year on year, with just less than half upheld in the customer’s favour.

FOS said the increase in complaints was mainly being driven by third-party activity brought about by claims management companies and law firms.

Overall, between October and December, the ombudsman received 41,303 new complaints about financial products and upheld 35% of the complaints that were resolved in the latest quarter.

HP complaints on the rise

Credit cards, car hire purchase (HP) agreements and car and motorbike insurance also featured high up in the FOS report. HP complaints have risen for the last five consecutive quarters. Most recently, the majority of HP complaints were about charges, fees and commission.

In cases of vehicle insurance, FOS said it had seen complaints where the policy holder had argued their car was worth more than their insurer had given them, following a theft or an accident where the car was written off.

Where the ombudsman upheld these complaints, it was often because it found the insurer’s offer was unfair. ‘We saw examples of insurers not considering all the available information, which tended to lead to offers that were less favourable,’ it added.