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over a million enquiries and more than 200,000 disputes ...
ombudsman service publishes annual review of personal finance disputes
The Financial Ombudsman Service – the independent organisation that settles disputes between consumers and financial companies – yesterday publishes its annual review covering the 2010/11 financial year. The review shows that during the year:
the ombudsman handled over a million front-line enquiries and complaints from consumers – around 4,000 each working day
around 1 in 5 of the initial consumer enquiries we received turned into a formal dispute requiring the involvement of our adjudicators and ombudsman – a record 206,121 new cases, up 26% on the previous year
51% of the new cases were about the sale of payment protection insurance (PPI) with the number more than doubling to 104,597 – the highest number ever received in a year about a single financial product
Natalie Ceeney, chief executive and chief ombudsman, said:
This year has been the busiest in our ten-year history – with over 200,000 disputes referred to us and a million front-line enquiries. This reflects the increased confidence of an ever more diverse range of consumers getting in touch about a wider range of problems and issues.
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.
Statistics from the ombudsman’s annual review show:
the number of investment complaints dropped by 30% and banking complaints fell by 9%
the ombudsman resolved almost half of all disputes (apart from PPI) in three months and three quarters within six months
the ombudsman’s involvement resulted in compensation for consumers in 51% of cases
complaints about consumer credit, travel insurance and motor insurance increased, while complaints about health insurance, current accounts and home contents insurance fell
half of the total number of disputes referred to the ombudsman service involved four of the UK's largest financial services groups – while 2,131 businesses had just one complaint each
78% of adults said they were aware of the Financial Ombudsman Service – with awareness of the ombudsman highest in the Wales and lowest in Northern Ireland
our annual review
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