Complaints about financial advice increase

Nia Williams

September 28, 2011

The aggregate data covers the total volume of complaints received according to product, type of firm and cause of the complaint. The data also covers the proportion of complaints resolved and upheld and the total redress paid during this six-month period.

According to the FSA there were 7,326 complaints about ‘advising, selling and arranging’ home finance; 40,563 complaints about ‘advising, selling and arranging’ banking; 28,774 complaints about ‘advising, selling and arranging’ life and pensions; and 560,892 complaints about ‘advising, selling and arranging’ general insurance and pure protection.

‘Home finance’ here relates to equity release products, impaired credit mortgages, other regulated and unregulated home finance products.

There were 67,309 complaints about these home finance products. There were 439 complaints relating to equity release; 2,929 relating to impaired credit mortgages; 11,273 relating to other unregulated home finance products; and 52,668 relating to other regulated home finance products.

There were 30,014 complaints about firms carrying out ‘mortgage business’ which incorporates home finance administrators, brokers and providers.

The complaints data also shows:

  • Total overall number of complaints increased by 3% to 1,852,284 in 2011 H1.
  • Overall, complaints about ‘advising, selling and arranging’ increased by 21% to 648,924.
  • Complaints about ‘general insurance and pure protection’ increased by 18% to 848,357 and 560,892 of these were as a result of ‘advising selling and arranging’ causes.
  • Included in the ‘general insurance and pure protection’ figures above, the total number of complaints about PPI increased by 23% to 531,667.
  • The number of banking complaints were at their lowest level since 2008 H1 at 812,197. This is a 10% decrease on the previous half year and is 22% down on a year ago.
  • The percentage of complaints upheld remained stable, increasing from 49% in 2010 H2 to 50% in 2011 H1.
  • The total amount of redress paid decreased by 11% from £459m in 2010 H2 to £409m in 2011 H1.

The FSA said it is “committed to greater transparency where it will benefit consumers. Publishing this data brings complaints to the attention of firms and consumers alike, and gives firms a benchmark and an incentive to improve how they treat their customers and handle complaints”.

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