Complaints on banking and credit cards up as total complaints fall by 7 per cent

The latest complaints data published by the Financial Conduct Authority(FCA) has shown financial services firms received 2,183,540 new complaints (including those related to PPI) between July and December 2014.

Overall complaints decreased by 7 per cent compared to the previous six months and by 12 per cent from the same period last year.

However, excluding payment protection insurance (PPI), complaints increased by 1 per cent to 1,124,622 between the first and second halves of 2014 and by 2 per cent when compared with the same period in 2013.

This increase was mainly caused by an 8 per cent rise in the number of complaints relating to banking and credit cards over the six months to the end of December. All other product categories showed decreases in the period.

FCA director of strategy and competition, Christopher Woolard, said: “Today’s statistics offer a mixed picture. When you take PPI out of the equation, complaints are still on the up.  So, while the overall decreases we have seen should be welcomed there is still more for financial services firms to do. The FCA’s challenge to those firms is to put the necessary measures in place to ensure we see a consistent fall across all sectors.”

PPI accounted for less than half (48 per cent) of complaints for the first time in the last three years but remained the most complained about product with 1,058,918 opened complaints in 2014 H2. The number of PPI complaints opened decreased by 14 per cent to 1,058,918 in the second half of 2014 compared to the first six months of the year.

The total redress paid increased by 4 per cent to £2.44bn in in the second half of 2014, from £2.34bn in the first half of the year. 88 per cent of this amount (£2.15bn) related to general insurance and pure protection products, which include PPI. The redress paid in relation to banking and credit card products increased by 64 per cent to £145m between July and December.

This constituted 6 per cet of the total redress paid in the last six months of the year against 4 per cet in the previous period.

The top five most complained about firms, in terms of the number of complaints received in the first half of 2014, were:

  1. Barclays Bank – 276,626 (a decrease of 1% since the first half of 2014)
  2. Lloyds Bank – 242,782 (a decrease of 8% since the first half of 2014)
  3. Bank of Scotland – 231,869 (a decrease of 13% since the first half of 2014)
  4. HSBC – 152,148 (an increase of 16% since the first half of 2014
  5. National Westminster Bank– 126,507 (a decrease of 10% since the first half of 2014)

The top five most complained about products and services in the first half of 2014 were:

      1. Payment protection insurance – 1,058,918 complaints (down 14%, compared to the previous 6 months)
      2. Current accounts –385,818 complaints (up 22%, compared to the previous 6 months)
      3. Other general insurance – 318,326 complaints (down 0.16%, compared to the previous 6 months)
      4. Credit cards –109,487 complaints (down 14%, compared to the previous 6 months)
      5. Savings, including cash ISAs, and other banking -  84,352 complaints (up 5%, compared to the previous 6 months)

By product group, the firms with the largest number of complaints opened in the first half of 2014 were:

Banking and credit cards

1.   Barclays Bank – 109,994

2.   Santander UK – 82,953

3.   National Westminster Bank  – 68,027

4.   HSBC Bank– 66,109

5.   Lloyds Bank  – 57,359

Home finance (mortgages and equity release products)

1.   Bank of Scotland – 11,601

2.   Santander UK – 9,728

3.   Barclays Bank – 5,451

4.   HSBC Bank – 5,447

5.   Nationwide Building Society – 5,047

General insurance and pure protection (including payment protection insurance)

1.   Lloyds Bank– 183,652

2.   Bank of Scotland– 179,250

3.   Barclays Bank  - 157,822

4.   MBNA– 95,217

5.   HSBC – 76,968

Decumulation, Life and Pensions

1.   The Prudential Assurance Company Limited – 6,209

2.   Friends Life Limited – 5,188

3.   Aviva Life Services UK Limited – 4,153

4.   Phoenix Life Limited – 3,864

5.   Scottish Widows Plc – 3,382


1.   Santander UK – 4,278

2.   Barclays Bank – 2,576

3.   Yorkshire Building Society – 2,240

4.   HSBC – 1,853

5.   Bank of Scotland – 1,059