Complaints about payment protection insurance rose by 40% during the second half of last year, according to new figures from the Financial Conduct Authority. This brings complaints about mis-sold PPI to its highest level in four years.
As a result of these complaints, firms were forced to pay £415.8 million in redress to consumers in January this year. The FCA says this is the highest amount paid since March 2016, taking the total amount of redress paid to mis-selling victims since January 2011 to £30 billion.
This spike also drove an overall increase in the number of complaints made against financial firms to 13% in the second half of the year. Consumers made a total of 3.76 million complaints over the period – an increase of 427,032 on the first half of the year.
However, when PPI was taken out of the equation, the overall level of complaints made against financial firms remained stable. After PPI, the products to receive the most complaints were current accounts, followed by credit cards.
Commenting on the FCA complaint figures, Tashema Jackson, money expert at uSwitch.com, says: “PPI continues to dominate the banking complaints figures, as you would expect given the big push by the regulator to inform people of the looming deadline in August next year.
“However, when you look beyond PPI to the banking and credit card complaints, the fact that the big high street banks have hundreds of thousands of customers who are unhappy comes as little surprise. Our recent customer service report showed that the biggest banks are consistently underperforming when it comes to dealing with the concerns of their customers, with Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC and Barclays the worst performing.
“If you are unhappy with the service your bank is providing, you don’t have to put up with it. There are over 50 different current account providers in the UK and almost all of them are available on the Current Account Switch Service (CASS).
“When switching through CASS all your standing orders and direct debits are automatically moved across, as well as any future payments into your account and it is all done in the space of a week.”