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FOS upholds 67% of GEMHL complaints

Figures released today from the Financial Ombudsman Service show GE Money Home Lending had 67% of complaints against it upheld in favour of the consumer.

GEMHL had 56 complaints between July 1 and December 31 2009, but 67% of these were upheld – the highest percentage of any lender.

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

Overall, Bank of Scotland received the most complaints relating to mortgages and home finance – receiving 560 in the six month period, however only 34% of these were upheld.

Clydesdale Bank received 50 complaints and had 53% upheld, while Kensington Mortgages received 48 complaints with 52% being upheld.

The FOS data includes both the number of complaints received about individual businesses and the percentage of complaints upheld by the ombudsman service in favour of consumers.

During this six-month period, the ombudsman service received a total of 82,136 new complaints – an increase of 18% on the 69,841 cases received in the first half of 2009. Of these new cases, 88% related to 155 financial businesses (out of more than 100,000 businesses covered by the ombudsman).

The number of new complaints about each of these individual businesses ranged from 31 to 9,952.

The data published today shows that in the second half of 2009 the ombudsman service upheld an average of 53% of complaints in favour of consumers, compared to 59% in the first half of the year. Across the 155 individual businesses included in the complaints data, this uphold rate varied substantially between 10% and 100% upheld in favour of consumers.

David Thomas – interim chief ombudsman, says: “While the number of cases referred by consumers to the ombudsman has continued to increase substantially, it’s encouraging to see that some businesses are committed to handling complaints better.

“However, there is evidently still room for significant improvement in the way other financial businesses handle complaints – judged by the proportion of cases where we overturn the decision that the businesses have themselves come to in their own earlier investigation of their customer complaints.

“The data we have released today clearly shows that some businesses still need to do more to ensure that they deal with their customers’ complaints effectively and fairly – so that consumers do not then need to escalate their dissatisfaction to the ombudsman.

“We hope that businesses will continue to use this data to focus their attention on addressing these key complaints-handling issues over the coming months and years.”


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  • Statistics find the Facts 25th February 2010 at 12:34 pm

    As everyone knows, there is absolutely no online fraud occurring in Banks. Why do we know – because they don’t declare any. And we also know that fraud is endemic, and the Banks are perfect.
    What we have here is noise rather than information.
    The report on the FOS figures is in much the same league – it provides interesting figures, but no picture of what is happening.
    Taking GE Money, merely because the reporter has, we see that it had 56 complaints. But how many loans did it do – 60, 600, 6000?
    How many complaints did it get, 60, 600, 6000. The FOS figure only reflects complaints that could not be resolved internally, which suggests that they were more than normally contentious for some reason. So if GE received 6,000 complaints, and was able to solve 5,944 I would suggest that its procedures are quite good. If it got 60 complaints and could only solve 4, then its procedures are not so good.
    Experience indicates that the FOS will tend to side with the complainant rather than the provider, which could well make the settlement figures look artificially high if there is a genuine dispute between both sides.
    And in an age when everyone is more willing to complain, and when they can see that the odds are on their side due to the complexity of regulation it is hardly surprising that the number is increasing. We only have to look at America to understand what the “no responsibility” attitude does to the number of court cases.
    So we now have a society that is led by headlines than facts, and a Regulatory system that is driven by the sentiment created by the headlines.
    As someone once said “Lies, damn lies & statistics”.