Increase in number of mortgage complaints

Data released today by the Financial Services Authority shows that the number of complaints made against mortgage firms went up in the second half of 2009.

In total there were 13, 232 complaints made against mortgage firms in H2 2009, compared to 12, 634 in H1 2009.

There were 4,185 complaints upheld by mortgage firms in H2 2009, representing 34% of all complaints, up from 3,802 in H1 2009.

Overall, 49%, 51, 611 complaints were upheld by home finance firms, which includes, equity release products, impaired credit mortgage, and other regulated mortgages.

There was a large increase in the number of complaints relating to arrears handling, up from 39,226 in H1 to 50,004 in H2 2009.

Complaints made against credit impaired mortgages were also up from 1,808 to 2,573 in H2. Complaints against equity release business were down from 428 to 383.

In total £5,059,827 was paid in redress by mortgage businesses in H2 and £11,003, 089 from home finance firms.

The FSA has 2,812 firms registered as mortgage businesses.

Firms are required to report to the FSA every six months to show the volume of complaints regulated firms have received, how they have been handled and the amount of redress paid.

Overall the largest proportion of complaints came from current accounts at 1,627,310, followed by general insurance.

The overall level of complaints has increased to 2.6m, with complaints about banking products in this period increasing to 2,014,371 – mainly due to the back-dated complaints related to unauthorised bank charges.

The total amount of redress paid by firms was £284m with the largest amount of redress by product for general insurance and pure protection (£144m).