Banks and insurers are under scrutiny lately after a massive 24% rise in the number of complaints that are being passed on to the Financial Ombudsman.
The Financial Ombudsman service is an organization that steps in when customers are not satisfied with how their banks or other financial institutions have solved their complaint cases.
The organization says it was swamped with new cases between July and September.
A spokesman from the finances authority said that the difficult financial circumstances that many find themselves in are directly affecting how many complaints are filed. As people have more reason to scrutinize their financial statements, they are finding problem after problem.
Motor insurance, retail banking, and debt-related complaints all skyrocketed as a result of Britons feeling the budget squeeze and trying to save all they can.
The 24% increase in complaints does not even take into account complaints over mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI), which banks have been dealing with for months.
“People are watching their money more closely in the current economic climate,” said a spokesperson from the Financial Ombudsman.
Data shows that complaints over overdraft fees and loans were up 23%. Mortgage complaints were up 36%, to 2,796 individual cases of complaint in the three-month period.
The data also shows that motor insurance jumped 22% and complaints about savings accounts skyrocketed 40% to 1,233 cases. Of those cases, 40% were ruled in the customer’s favour.
This can be explained with the difficult financial times, high unemployment, and rising inflation that is plaguging the nation. While the cost of food, housing, and fuel has risen dramatically in the last year, with inflation clocked in at 5.2%, workers’ take-home pay has not risen to match.
The Financial Ombudsman says that Britons are forced to tighten their belts in order to keep up with the rising cost of living.