FOS sees shift away from claims firms

The Financial Ombudsman Service has seen a shift away from the use of claims management companies with half of payment protection insurance complaints referred directly by consumers.

The FOS has published its latest complaint data today showing the most complained about firms between 1 January and 30 June this year.

It received 135,170 new complaints over the first six months of the year, up 27 per cent on the previous six months. Of the total new complaints, 85,562 related to PPI.

FOS chief executive and chief ombudsman Natalie Ceeney (pictured) says: “The volume of PPI complaints doubled in the first half of 2012 and has continued to increase since then with up to 1,500 new cases now arriving each day.

“We have also seen an increasing shift towards consumers doing it themselves rather than using a claims manager, with up to half of all new complaints now coming directly from consumers without paid-for representation, compared to less than 20 per cent a year ago.”

Lloyds Banking Group has emerged as the most complained about group in the first half of the year with 27,745 new complaints referred to the FOS. Barclays Bank was the most complained about individual business with 23,703 new complaints.

Over the same period the FOS upheld 74 per cent of complaints against Lloyds TSB Bank, and 53 per cent of complaints against Barclays Bank, with the bulk of complaints against both banks relating to PPI.

Among adviser firms Sesame had the most complaints referred to the FOS between January and June, with a total of 138 new complaints. Openwork had 100 new complaints referred to the FOS, St James’s Place had 47 new FOS complaints, Personal Touch had 44 complaints and Positive Solutions had 40.

Over the same period the FOS upheld 31 per cent of complaints against Sesame, 19 per cent of complaints against Openwork, and 27 per cent of SJP complaints. It also upheld 32 per cent of complaints against Personal Touch, and 49 per cent of PosSol complaints.

FOS H1 2012 complaint stats