The Financial Ombudsman Service has revealed that the number of people complaining about financial services companies had increased by 26% in the past year, and people complaining about the payment protection insurance had doubled.
Throughout the 2010/2011 financial year, the ombudsman revealed that they had received over 1,000,000 enquiries, of which 20% had turned into official complaints, the equivalent of 800 complaints a day.
Over the year, 206,121 official complaints were reviewed by the ombudsman, just over half of which related to the controversial payment protection insurance.
The 104,587 complaints about the controversial insurance plan is the most the ombudsman has ever had about a single product, more than twice as many complaints than last year.
That figure is expected to fall now the banks have admitted defeat in the courts and agreed to pay compensation to people who took out the service.
Banks in the UK are expected to be hit with a bill of around £8billion after the courts ordered them to retrospectively contact anyone who may be able to make a claim against them, if they identify a pattern of mis-selling involving that product.
Natalie Ceeney, chief ombudsman, said, “This year has been the busiest in our 10-year history – with over 200,000 disputes referred to us and a million frontline inquiries.
“Aside from PPI cases, over the year we’ve seen encouraging signs of improvements in the way that some businesses are handling complaints – and it’s good to see that the number of disputes about some other financial products has now started to fall.”
Investment product complaints fell 30% throughout the year, although consumers had more cases upheld than the previous year, mainly because sales people had persuaded inexperienced investors to move money out of savings accounts and bonds to risky investments.