The financial ombudsman has reported an increase in the difficulty of cases concerning the mis-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI).
The chief ombudsman, Caroline Wayman, commented on the situation: ìPPI complaints still make up the bulk of the ombudsmanís workload, and resolving these cases remains a priority.
Although itís good news that complaint numbers are starting to level off, we have seen a change in the nature of the PPI complaints people are asking us to resolve- which are becoming increasingly hard-fought and more complex.î
Despite the reported ìlevelling offî, PPI complaints still made up two-thirds of the received financial complaints in the latter half of 2014. From July to December last year, there were 104,877 PPI complaints whilst the total complaints made reached 161,649. The total number of PPI complaints in 2014 was more than 238,000.
The purpose of the financial ombudsman service is to deal with those financial cases where the original consumer and company cannot reach an amicable solution. The average ìuphold rateî, where the ombudsman sides with the customer issuing a complaint, is 52%. However, this average is deceptive as it masks the huge scope in uphold rate between business. Complaints about the Coventry Building Society were upheld only 4% of the time whilst for the Secret Eye Ltd it was at 98%.
The report also reveals that Barclays and Lloyds were the two financial companies in the UK that customers were complaining most about to the ombudsman.
Caroline Wayman went on to state: ìWeíre also hearing dissatisfaction from people where their problems started with a simple misunderstanding. On these occasions, problems could often have been cleared up much earlier, if there had been better communication between the financial business and their customer.
ìIt will take time to rebuild peopleís trust and confidence in the financial sector. And a first step towards this is for all businesses to show theyíve dealt with their customersí complaints thoughtfully and with care.î
The Financial Conduct Authority has released data revealing that just below £18 billion has been compensated for the mis-selling of PPI since January 2011.