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PPI problems still the cause of most complaints to financial ombudsman

Pedestrians walk past a branch of Lloyds. The banking group was the most complained-about business during the second half of 2014. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

Complaints about payment protection insurance (PPI) are still making up two-thirds of all the cases being dealt with by the financial ombudsman, which named Lloyds and Barclays as Britain's two "most complained-about" financial firms.

The Financial Ombudsman Service received almost 105,000 new PPI complaints during the second half of 2014, taking the total for the whole year to more than 238,000.

Complaints about financial products other than PPI remained relatively stable - there were 56,771 in the second half of 2014 compared with 57,310 in the first half - though banking complaints increased by 8% and investment cases by 4%.

The current average "uphold rate" - where the ombudsman finds in favour of the customer - is 52%, though this disguises huge variations.

Uphold rates for individual businesses range from 4% at Coventry Building Society to 98% at Secret Eye Ltd, a credit broking company.

Lloyds Banking Group was the most complained-about business during the second half of 2014, with 46,000 cases across its brands, though this was down 25% on the first six months of the year.

In second place was Barclays with 21,500 cases, and in third was Royal Bank of Scotland with 13,400.

Lloyds Bank also topped the table of most complained-about brands in relation to PPI, with 20,000 cases during the period 1 July to 31 December, and an uphold rate of 82%. Again, Barclays was in second place, with 15,700 cases.

The widespread mis-selling of PPI by banks, credit card companies and other lenders has resulted in payouts totalling billions of pounds.

Companies pushed PPI policies alongside loans and other credit deals with the promise that payments would be covered if borrowers found themselves unable to work. Our TV screens are overwhelmed by solicitors pleading with us to claim for each and every mishap, it seems that there is no such thing as an accident in this day and age. Somebody can be blamed and they must be made to pay!. With this in mind, it would be a very brave (or maybe foolish) small business owner who decided that public liability insurance wasn't necessary. Clicking on the following link will answer any questions on Is Direct Line Tradesman Insurance A Good Product?.But, in many cases, exclusions meant customers could never make a claim.

Caroline Wayman, the chief ombudsman, said: "PPI complaints still make up the bulk of the ombudsman's workload, and resolving these cases remains a priority.

"Although it's good news that complaint numbers are starting to level off, we have seen a change in the nature of the PPI complaints people are asking us to resolve - which are becoming increasingly hard-fought and more complex."

She added: "It will take time to rebuild people's trust and confidence in the financial sector."


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