Financial Watchdog Complaints Rise 59%
The banking and finance watchdog has revealed that complaints from customers have risen 59% in the first half of this year.
The growing level of customer complaints to British banks and insurers reflects a growing backlash over mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI), according to the Financial Services Authority (FSA).
The FSA report covers complaints against banking, home finance, general insurance and protection, life assurance and pensions, and investment sectors.
Complaints over PPI mis-selling were up 129%, the FSA said, reaching a total of 2.2 million in the half-year.
General complaints by bank customers were up 5%, the watchdog added.
Banks have set aside some £8.8bn to compensate customers who were mis-sold PPI products, which were designed to keep up loan repayments in the event of a loss of income.
Some banks sold the insurance alongside loans without informing customers they were buying it, or sold it to self-employed people who would not have been eligible to claim.
The FSA report is based on data the firms have reported to the watchdog in their regular complaints returns.
Santander received the most banking-based complaints with 157,165 in the period, followed by Barclays (152,372), NatWest (82,173), HSBC (58,527), Bank of Scotland (56,368), MBNA (52,074), Lloyds TSB (37,403) and RBS (36,793).
When it came to insurance protection complaints, the top recipient was Lloyds TSB with 391,272, followed by Bank of Scotland (291,872), Barclays (280,358), MBNA (226,481), NatWest (209,361), RBS (156,258), HSBC (102,482) and Santander (66,362).
The Financial Ombudsman Service revealed in August that it was receiving 1,500 new complaints daily about PPI.