Bank of Scotland most complained about bank in 2013
Bank of Scotland was the most complained about financial services provider in the first six months of this year, according to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).
The FOS received 61,664 complaints about the bank during the period - up 57% from the last six months of 2012 - and 80% of those complaints were upheld.
Lloyds TSB took second place with 59,753 complaints - up 31% on the previous six-month period - 86% of which were upheld.
Barclays was the third most complained about bank with the FOS receiving 43,612 complaints and upholding 64% of them. However compared to the last six months of 2012, the number of complaints fell by -2%.
In relation to PPI alone, the same three providers also took the same places in the top three. Bank of Scotland was also the worst offender with 57,680 complaints, followed by Lloyds with 55,972 and Barclays with 37,394 complaints.
Natalie Ceeney, chief executive and chief ombudsman at the FOS, said: "During the first six months of this year we sorted out a record number of complaints for people - making real progress in tackling the customer-service fallout from the mis-selling of PPI, widely accepted as the largest financial mis-selling scandal.
"Disappointingly we are still seeing cases where businesses are not following our long-standing approach to PPI, resulting in long waits and unnecessary delays for consumers.
"But, more positively, we are seeing encouraging signs from some major businesses that are starting to recognise the value of getting things right for their customers - with an increased focus on sorting out problems and concerns as quickly as possible."
Top 10 most complained about banks during 1 January to 30 June 2013
Bank of Scotland, 61,664
Lloyds TSB Bank, 59,753
Barclays Bank, 43,612
MBNA Europe Bank, 15,187
HSBC Bank, 14,869
Capital One (Europe), 12,048
Royal Bank of Scotland, 11,268
Nationwide Building Society, 8,539
Payment protection insurance is designed to cover you should you fall ill, have an accident or lose your job and can’t make repayments on loans or credit cards. However, research by consumer watchdogs found the cover to be overpriced, filled with exclusions (policies exclude self-employment, contract employees and pre-existing medical conditions) and were often mis-sold because the exclusions were never fully explained. In May 2011, the High Court ruled banks had knowingly mis-sold PPI and ordered them to compensate around two million consumers.
The practice of a dishonest salesperson misrepresenting or misleading an investor about the characteristics of a product or service. For example, selling a person with no dependants a whole-of-life policy. There have been notable mis-selling scandals in the past, including endowment policies tied to mortgages, employees persuaded to leave final salary pensions in favour of money purchase pensions (which paid large commissions to salespeople) and payment protection insurance. There is no legal definition of mis-selling; rather the Financial Services Authority (FSA) issues clarifying guidelines and hopes companies comply with them.
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.
This is a mutual organisation owned by its members and not by shareholders. These societies offer a range of financial services but have historically concentrated on taking deposits from savers and lending the money to borrowers as mortgages, hence the name. In the mid-1990s many societies “demutualised” and became banks. One academic study (Heffernan, 2003) found demutualised societies’ pricing on deposits and mortgages was more favourable to shareholders than to customers, with the remaining mutual building societies offering consistently better rates. In 1900, there were 2,286 building societies in the UK; in 2011, there are just 51.