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57% increase in complaints received by FOS

The FOS annual review shows that 97,901 new cases were dealt with during the year to March 31, 76,704 of which were resolved. Of the cases received, 51,917 related to endowment policies linked to mortgages – a staggering increase from 13,570 the previous year.

Complaints specifically concerned with mortgage loans fell from 9,438 in 2003 to 3,320 in the year to March 2004.

Chief ombudsman for the FOS Walter Merricks says the organisation expects further increases next year and has recruited and trained 200 new staff to help cope with the demand.

FOS chairman Sue Slipman says the coming year would present fresh challenges as the mortgage and insurance industry come into the FSA&#39s regulatory remit.

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