Lloyds tops FOS complaints data again

Lloyds Banking Group has emerged once again as the business group most complained about to the Financial Ombudsman Service, with the number of complaints against the bank up a massive 366 per cent year-on-year.

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The FOS has today published its latest complaints data about the businesses it received the most complaints about in the first half of the year.

There were 129,293 complaints about Lloyds between January and June, compared to 27,745 in the same period last year.

Lloyds subsidiary Lloyds TSB had the highest proportion of complaints upheld against it out of the top 10 most complained about firms, at 86 per cent. Another Lloyds subsidiary, Bank of Scotland, was also named as the most complained about firm in relation to payment protection insurance misselling.

Lloyds was also the most complained about business group in the second half of last year.

Barclays received 44,223 FOS complaints in the first half of the year, while Royal Bank of Scotland received 22,940. The FOS upheld 64 per cent of Barclays complaints and 34 per cent of RBS complaints.

Overall the total number of new complaints hit record levels, with the FOS receiving 327,035 complaints between January and June, up 141 per cent from 135,170 in the same period in 2012.

PPI complaints accounted for over eight out of ten of the total new complaints. A total of 266,228 new PPI complaints were referred to the FOS in the first half of the year, a rise of 211 per cent from 85,562 in the first half of 2012.

Stripping out PPI complaints, the number of FOS complaints rose 23 per cent from 49,608 to 60,807.

FOS chief executive Natalie Ceeney says: “During the first six months of this year we sorted out a record number of complaints. Disappointingly, we are still seeing cases where businesses are not following our long-standing approach to PPI, resulting in long waits and unnecessary delays for consumers.

“But we are seeing encouraging signs from some major businesses that are starting to recognise the value of getting things right for their customers, with an increased focus on sorting out problems and concerns as quickly as possible.”

A Lloyds spokesman says: “Excluding PPI, complaints volumes for Lloyds are down 11 per cent. However, PPI complaints are still higher than we would like.

“We made a decision in the first half of the year to voluntarily take a number of cases that were with the FOS and pay customers to ensure they did not experience unnecessary delays. This has had a significant impact on the FOS data, so we are confident the change rate on PPI complaints will reduce significantly as we continue to work with FOS in the second half of the year.”

The top 10 most complained about business groups to the FOS:

FOS top 10 Sept 2013
Source: FOS