Belfast Telegraph

PPI makes up over half of complaints to financial institutions

Lloyds received the most complaints overall in the first six months of the year
Lloyds received the most complaints overall in the first six months of the year

Complaints about payment protection insurance (PPI) accounted for over half of all grievances lodged against British banks and financial services firms in the first half of the year, new official figures have revealed.

Numbers released by the UK's Financial Ombudsman Service on Tuesday show that complaints relating to banks, insurers and other financial businesses rose 3% to 169,132 in the first half of 2016 compared to the last six months of 2015.

While complaints about PPI accounted for 54% of all cases - totalling 91,381 - they were down slightly from 92,667 in the previous period.

Bank of Scotland received the highest number of PPI grievances at 17,358, followed close behind by Lloyds at 16,626 complaints.

Chief ombudsman Caroline Wayman said: "Although it's a few years now since PPI complaints peaked, we have been receiving over 3,000 a week for six years running - despite wider expectations that numbers will fall. And we're continuing to deal with the issues and uncertainties around PPI which remain a significant challenge for everyone involved."

Grievances lodged over other financial products excluding PPI jumped by 8% to 77,751, as complaints about payday lending doubled from the previous six months.

Lloyds Bank - which is 9% government owned - received the most complaints overall, accounting for 22,241 grievances, 70% of which were upheld in the consumer's favour.

Sign In

The lender's chief executive Antonio Horta Osorio faced fresh scrutiny in August over expenses incurred during a trip to Singapore, but was later backed by Lloyds, which said he did not break company policy.

It came after the bank announced it would shutter 200 branches and cut 3,000 jobs in an efficiency drive back in July.

After Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland received the second highest number of complaints, though only 34% of the 22,090 complaints lodged were upheld.

Barclays received the third-highest number of complaints at 18,603, with 47% of those upheld.

Barclays was followed by HSBC and NatWest, which received 11,082 and 8,027 complaints, respectively.

Ms Wayman said: "Lots of factors can influence the complaints we see, from more people knowing about their rights when things go wrong to external factors like volatility in the stock market or extreme weather conditions. That's why I believe it's important that we continue to share our insights into complaints to help businesses to avoid the mistakes of the past."