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Blemain, Kensington and NRAM top FCA mortgage complaints list

Blemain Finance was the most complained about mortgage lender in the latter half of 2017, according to FCA data released today.

The firm, part of Together Money Group, received 43.1 complaints relating to home finance per 1,000 balances outstanding, the report says.

Kensington Mortgages received the second highest number of home finance complaints in the six months to the end of 2017, with a total of 41.12 on the same basis.

NRAM, formerly Northern Rock, was third in the rankings with 31.86 complaints per 1,00 outstanding balances.

In response to the findings, Blemain Finance says: “We take all complaints very seriously and always conduct thorough complaints analysis to ensure we take learnings from individual complaints to improve service for other customers.

“We also have an ongoing programme of activities to improve customer outcomes, customer satisfaction and to address the causes of these complaints. The home finance data, published by the FCA, relates to our historic Blemain Finance loan book, which is no longer open to new business. Consequently, complaints as a proportion of the diminishing loan book are likely to appear higher than average.

“All of our home finance is currently funded through Together Personal Finance, which has significantly fewer complaints.”

However, complaints regarding payment protection insurance caught the regulator’s attention most significantly and was the driver behind a 13 per cent increase in the number of complaints it received.

During the second half of 2017 a total of 3.76 million complaints were received, an increase of 427,032 on the first half of the year. Complaints about PPI rose by 40 per cent to 1.55 million, the highest level of complaints about PPI for more than four years.

In January 2018 firms paid out £415.8m in redress to customers who complained about payment protection insurance, the highest figure since March 2016 and takes the amount paid since January 2011 to £30bn.

FCA director of strategy and competition says: “Having set a deadline for PPI complaints, we are encouraging consumers to decide whether they want to claim, and if they do, to make their complaint as soon as possible, as many already have.

“We are continuing to monitor and challenge all firms to ensure they maintain the expected standards and are delivering on their commitments to make it easy for people to complain about PPI.

“When PPI is taken out of the mix, the numbers of complaints firms are receiving has remained stable. Firms should be doing all they can to reduce complaints and ensure they are treating customers fairly.”

Excluding PPI the number of complaints received by firms was 2.21million, around 13,000 fewer than the previous six months.

After PPI, the next most complained about products are current accounts, with 509,047 complaints and then credit cards with 314,586 complaints.

See the full list of complaints here.

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