Despite a drop in the number of complaints relating to missold payment protection insurance (PPI) through the latter half of 2013, the Financial Ombudsman Service continues to receive more than 1,000 complaints every day.
According to chief ombudsman Tony Boorman: “The extraordinary volumes of financial complaints we saw in 2013 now look as if they are starting to level off at last… But we’re still a long way from being able to say that PPI is sorted once and for all.”
Lloyds TSB has lately been the organisation that the most complaints have been levelled against, according to the ombudsman. Runners-up included HSBC, Barclays and the Bank of Scotland. Lloyds, however, claimed that when the number of complaints was considered against the number of customers it had, they were proportionally lower than those of most other institutions.
For the past couple of years, the Financial Ombudsman Service has more than doubled its staff, and those making claims for missold PPI have faced significant delays. While the numbers remain high, the fact that they are levelling off means that those making PPI claims should hopefully see timescales for adjudication improve noticeably. In spite of the levelling off in claim numbers, with still more than 1,000 to deal with every day the ombudsman has claimed that there are no plans to lay off any staff. Furthermore, the service has said that most of its staff are on three year contracts, suggesting that their jobs will remain secure at least until the end of this period.
When it comes to the adjudications, there are massive differences between banks. Barclays was the subject of just over 36,500 complaints, and in 77% of these the ombudsman found in favour of the customer. By contrast, less than 6,436 complaints were aimed at Nationwide, and only 10% of those were upheld.
Furthermore, the number of cases being upheld overall is falling. Around 75% of complaints were upheld in the first half of 2013, but only 56% in the second half of the year. Around half of complaints are being made through a claims management company. In the wake of the scandal when the large scale of PPI misspelling was revealed, these companies were set up to guide the masses of customers through the process of lodging a complaint and making a claim for the money to be repaid.