Lloyds tops complaints list once again
Lloyds Banking Group has topped the list of the most complained about financial institutions for the third time.
Figures from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) showed the part-nationalised topped the list with customers lodging more than 22,000 new complaints in the first half of 2010. These were largely concerned with its general insurance products and its banking and credit services.
This follows on from the 9,952 complaints it received in the last six months of 2009.
Barclays and HSBC each attracted 7,991 and 3,286 complaints respectively, while Santander registered 4,881 and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) received 2,250.
Lloyds and Barclays were also the most criticised financial groups in the first half of 2009 with nearly 25,000 complaints between them.
Overall, the FOS said bank customers logged 84,212 complaints between January and June, up 2,076 on the previous six-month period. More than half of the complaints were about the big five banks.
Some 44% of these were upheld in favour of the consumer compared to 53% in the second half of 2009.
During this period 15,000 complaints about unauthorised-overdraft charges were reviewed and closed.
This followed the Supreme Court's unanimous ruling in November 2009 - that the fairness of unauthorised overdraft charges could not be challenged on the basis of the "test case" referred by the Office of Fair Trading.
An overdraft is an agreement with your bank that authorises you to withdraw more funds from your account than you have deposited in it. Many banks charge for this privilege either as a fixed fee or charge interest on the money overdrawn at a special high rate. Some banks charge a fee and interest. And other banks offer a free overdraft but impose very high charges for exceeding the agreed limit of your overdraft.
If you’ve have a complaint about a financial service product you have bought but the company you bought it from refuses to resolve your problem after eight weeks, the Ombudsman can help. The Ombudsman will investigate and resolve the matter. The Ombudsman is independent and its service is free to consumers. The Ombudsman may find in the company’s favour but consumers don’t have accept its decision and are always free to go to court instead. But if they do accept an Ombudsman’s decision, it is binding both on them and on the business.