Customers made over 2m complaints about financial companies in the first half of 2015

30th September 2015


Customers made more than 2 million complaints about financial companies during the first six months of 2015 as gripes about banking products increased by 21.8%.

The latest data from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) show that firms received 2,138,209 new complaints between January and June 2015, with payment protection insurance (PPI) still the number one culprit.

However, the total represents a fall of 2.1% on the previous six months as the number of PPI cases began to reduce.

There was a 19.7% increase in complaints about at-retirement life and pensions products to 73,055 complaints.

General insurance and protection, including PPI-related complaints, saw a drop of 13.6% to 1,204,783.

When PPI is excluded, the complaints continued to increase, this time by 11.6% to 1,255,166 between the second half of 2014 and the first half of 2015.

This increase was mainly caused by a 21.8% rise in the number of complaints relating to banking and credit cards and specifically by the advising, selling and arranging of these products which more than doubled from 133,922 in the second half of 2014 to 276,071 complaints in the first half of 2015.

PPI complaints fell again, this time by 16.6% to 883,043 compared to the second half of 2014, continuing the trend since the second half of 2012.

The FCA’s director of strategy and competition, Christopher Woolard, says: “While the ongoing fall in PPI complaints is welcome, this is the second half-year running that we have seen complaints about banking products rise. It is clear that firms need to look at the causes for this rise and where necessary take action to address the causes of the trend.

“Ensuring good consumer outcomes should be at the heart of firms’ activities and we want to see complaints fall in the future as firms seek to ensure that consumers get the right products and services.”

While PPI accounted for less than half (41.3%) of complaints for the second time in three years, and fell below 1 million complaints per half year period for the first time since 2012, it remained the most complained about product.

The total redress paid fell by 18.9% to £1.98bn in 2015 H1 from £2.44bn in 2014 H2, with 83.2% of this amount (£1.65bn) related to ‘general insurance and pure protection’ products, which include PPI products. The redress paid in relation to ‘banking and credit card’ products increased by 46.7% to £212.4m between 2014 H2 and 2015 H1.

The top five most complained about products and services in 2015 H1 were:

1 Payment protection insurance – 883,043 complaints (down 16.6% compared to the previous 6 months)

2 Current accounts –506,326 complaints (up 31.2% compared to the previous 6 months)

3 Other general insurance – 304,919 complaints (down 4.3% compared to the previous 6 months)

4 Credit cards –121,615 complaints (up 11.1% compared to the previous 6 months)

5 Savings, including cash ISAs, and other banking –  78,981 complaints (down 6.4% compared to the previous 6 months)

While the below figures do not put the complaint numbers into context of the size of the banks, the top five most complained about firms in 2015 H1 were:

1 Barclays Bank Plc – 283,221 (an increase of 2.4% since 2014 H2)

2 Lloyds Bank Plc – 232,971 (a decrease of 4.0% since 2014 H2)

3 Bank of Scotland Plc – 190,121 (a decrease of 18.0% since 2014 H2)

4 National Westminster Bank Plc – 144,741 (an increase of 14.4% since 2014 H2)

5 HSBC Bank Plc – 140,244 (a decrease of 7.8% since 2014 H2)

By product group, the firms with the largest number of complaints opened in 2015 H1 were:

Banking and credit cards

1 Barclays Bank Plc – 140,574

2 National Westminster Bank Plc – 95,994

3 Lloyds Bank Plc – 85,504

4 Santander UK Plc – 80,566

5 HSBC Bank Plc – 72,356

Home finance (mortgages and equity release products)

1 Bank of Scotland Plc – 8,811

2 Santander UK Plc – 8,517

3 NRAM Plc – 6,015

4 HSBC Bank Plc – 5,998

5 Barclays Bank Plc – 5,774

General insurance and pure protection (including payment protection insurance)

1 Lloyds Bank Plc – 145,673

2 Barclays Bank Plc – 133,371

3 Bank of Scotland Plc – 125,647

4 MBNA Limited – 83,129

5 HSBC Bank Plc – 57,347

Decumulation, Life and Pensions

1 The Prudential Assurance Company Limited – 8,827

2 Friends Life Limited  – 7,013

3 The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited – 5,688

4 Aviva Life Services UK Limited – 4,342

5 Scottish Widows Plc – 4,110


1 Santander UK Plc – 4,375

2 HSBC Bank Plc – 2,932

3 Barclays Bank Plc – 2,759

4 Halifax Share Dealing Limited – 1,724

5 Equiniti Financial Services Limited – 1,626

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