37% Of mortgage firm complaints are upheld

The Financial Ombudsman Service upheld 37% of complaints against mortgage and home finance firms in the last six months of 2009, a fall of 4%compared with the first six months of the year.

Bank of Scotland received the most mortgage and home finance-related complaints – 560 in the six-month period. But only 34% of these were upheld.

GE Money Home Lending had the highest rate of complaints upheld – 67% of 56 complaints.

Barclays received the second highest number of complaints at 486, with 56% upheld.

Clydesdale Bank received 50 complaints, and had 53% upheld while Kensington Mortgages had 48 complaints, of which 52% were upheld.

FOS only publishes complaints against a firm if it racks up more than 30 in the period and has 30 upheld against it.

A spokesman for GEMHL says: “We work hard to address all customer complaints swiftly and amicably. This resulted in a 40% fall in FOS referrals for us since the last published data six months ago.

“The cases that were referred and subsequently overturned by FOS represent just 1% of mortgage-related FOS complaints and a tiny proportion of our customer base.”

During the six-month period FOS received 82,136 new complaints – a rise of 18% on the 69,841 cases it got in the first half of 2009.

Overall, Lloyds Banking Group came top of the complaints table with 9,952 new complaints, followed closely by Barclays with 9,836. Bank of Scotland had 7,349 complaints made against it.

Interim chief ombudsman David Thomas says: “This data shows that some firms still need to do more to deal with customer complaints effectively and fairly.

“I hope businesses will take the chance to focus on addressing complaints-handling issues.”