Bank of Scotland most complained-about mortgage lender again

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Bank of Scotland was again the most complained-about mortgage provider in the first half of the year with complaints rising by 15 per cent year-on-year.

Figures published by the Financial Ombudsman Service last week show the lender received 1,062 mortgage-related complaints in H1 2014, up from 927 a year earlier. Thirty-eight per cent of this year’s complaints were upheld.

Bank of Scotland was also the most complained-about lender in H2 2013.

Santander received the second-highest number of complaints in H1 2014 with 753 – 3 per cent fewer than last year. The FOS upheld 31 per cent of complaints against the lender.

Barclays received the third-highest number of mortgage complaints. The number rose by 27 per cent to 503 with 52 per cent of complaints upheld.

Complaints against Legal & General Partnership Services rocketed by 760 per cent year-on-year from 52 to 447, making it the fourth-most complained-about firm for mortgages. Just 11 per cent of the complaints were upheld.

Northern Rock Asset Management completes the top five although it received 45 per cent fewer complaints than last year. The number of complaints fell from 676 to 372 with 35 per cent upheld.

Chief ombudsman Caroline Wayman says: “We are seeing more and more people turn to us in frustration where they feel their bank or insurer simply doesn’t understand or really care. And we’re hearing growing dissatisfaction from people about being processed industrially as a number rather than being listened to as an individual customer.

“By giving their customers more thoughtful, considerate and personal responses, businesses can sort out problems earlier, prevent complaints being escalated to the ombudsman and rebuild trust and confidence more generally.”

Among advice firms, Sesame received the most complaints at 197 although this was down a third on last year. Twenty-six per cent of complaints were upheld. Openwork and Personal Touch Financial Services were the other mortgage advice firms in the top five, at third and fourth respectively.

Overall, Lloyds Banking Group emerged again as the business group most complained about to the FOS despite receiving less than half the number of complaints made a year ago.