Financial complaints reach new levels in the UK

29 May 2013

More consumers in the UK complained about financial institutions in 2012, according to the financial ombudsman service (FOS).

A lack of trust in the industry led to a 92 per cent increase in cases taken up by the ombudsman as people became more aware of their rights as a consumer.

The mis-selling of payment protection insurance was the main source of complaints with 74 per cent coming from that area, but nearly all sectors saw an increase in complaints.

More than two million initial enquiries and complaints from consumers were lodged with the FOS last year, amounting to 7,000 a day, according to its annual report. This meant 508,881 new cases were opened in 2012-13, a record number for the service

The FOS saw a massive rise in complaints following the Libor rate-rigging scandal.

Chief financial ombudsman Natalie Ceeney said: "We have seen a much stronger consumer voice in the last year - with people becoming more aware of their rights and less willing to put up with poor customer service."

The banks have said they have hired more staff to deal with complaints efficiently.

By Gary Cooper

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