Lloyds Bank most complained about provider, says Ombudsman
Customers of Lloyds Bank take the most complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service, with the independent complaints arbitrator resolving 22,241 gripes about the firm in the first half of the year.
Lloyds Bank is one of the largest financial providers, so this isn’t the fairest figure to use given it has more customers than other firms.
However, of the top 10 most complained about companies – Lloyds had the highest uphold rate between January and June 2016 at 70%, meaning it wrongly rejected the most customer complaints.
See the table below for the full details of the most complained about financial firms.
Ombudsman complaints on the rise
Complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service as a whole were also up over the period, with the Ombudsman taking on a total of 169,132 new cases in the first half of 2016 – an increase of 1% on the second half of 2015.
The average uphold rate – where the Ombudsman found in the consumer’s favour was 48% – ranging from 3% to 92%.
Of the complaints in the first six months of 2016, payment protection insurance (PPI) made up the most at 54% of new complaints – with 91,381 new cases – down from 92,667 in the previous period.
Chief ombudsman Caroline Wayman says: “Although it’s a few years now since PPI complaints peaked, we have been receiving over 3,000 a week for six years running – despite wider expectations that numbers will fall. And we’re continuing to deal with the issues and uncertainties around PPI, which remain a significant challenge for everyone involved.”
The FCA has proposed setting a deadline of June 2019 for consumers to make PPI complaints by.
For complaints about financial products other than PPI, the number has increased by 8% to 77,751. The Ombudsman says one of the reasons for this is because payday lending complaints have more than doubled compared to the last six months of 2015. It believes this is due to a greater awareness.
The number of complaints and uphold rate by sector is as follows.
Complaints by sector ranked by uphold rate
|Sector||Uphold rate||Number of complaints|
|Mortgages and home finance||45%||5,279|
|Life and pensions||30%||3,959|
|Banking and credit||29%||48,627|
Based on resolved Ombudsman complaints between 1 January and 30 June 2016. Covers 221 businesses.
Ten most complained about firms ranked by uphold rate
|Provider||Uphold rate %||Number of complaints|
|Royal Bank of Scotland||53%||4,480|
|Financial Insurance Company||46%||6,612|
|Bank of Scotland||34%||22,090|
Based on resolved Ombudsman complaints between 1 January and 30 June 2016.
Jen Tippin, Lloyds Banking Group’s group customer service director, says: “At Lloyds Banking Group we are committed to delivering excellent service to our customers. If things do go wrong, we want to put them right as quickly as we can, and learn from our mistakes.
"Whilst we are pleased to see that our overall complaints have fallen, we continue to work very hard to address the root cause of any customer dissatisfaction.”
How to complain
If you’re unhappy with your financial provider, first complain to the company involved. If you don’t get a response with eight weeks or you’re unhappy with the response you do get, take your complaint to the free Financial Ombudsman Services to look into.
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.
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.