Bank of Scotland most complained about mortgage lender again

Bank of Scotland was once again the most complained about mortgage provider in the first half of the year after seeing complaints rise 15 per cent year-on-year.

According to figures published today by the Financial Ombudsman Service, the lender, which was also the most complained about lender in the second half of last year, received 1,062 mortgage-related complaints in the first half of the year, up 15 per cent on the 927 complaints received a year earlier. Some 38 per cent of the complaints were upheld in the first half of 2014.

Santander received the second highest number of complaints at 753 – 3 per cent fewer than the 774 complaints it received a year earlier. The FOS upheld 31 per cent of complaints against the lender.

Barclays received the third highest number of complaints. The bank saw the number of mortgage complaints made against it rise 27 per cent from 397 in the first six months of last year to 503 in the same period this year. Some 52 per cent of the complaints were upheld in the first half of 2014.

Complaints against Legal & General Partnership Services rocketed 760 per cent between the first half of 2013 and the first half of 2014, from 52 to 447, making it the fourth most complained against firm for mortgages. Just 11 per cent of the complaints were upheld in the first half of 2014.

Northern Rock Asset Management completes the top five, although it received 45 per cent fewer complaints in the first half of this year compared to a year earlier – 676 falling to 372. The FOS upheld 35 per cent of complaints made against the lender.

Chief ombudsman Caroline Wayman says: ”We’re seeing more and more people turn to us in frustration where they feel their bank or insurer simply doesn’t understand or really care. And we’re hearing growing dissatisfaction from people about being processed industrially as a number rather than being listened to as an individual customer.

“By giving their customers more thoughtful, considerate and personal responses – clearly setting out the reasoning behind an individual decision – we know that businesses can help sort out problems earlier on, prevent complaints being escalated to the ombudsman and rebuild trust and confidence more generally.”

Sesame was the most complained about advice firm. It received 197 complaints about Sesame, down by 33 per cent year-on-year. Some 26 per cent of complaints against the firm were upheld. Openwork and Personal Touch Financial Services were the other two mortgage advice firms in the top five at third and fourth respectively.

Overall, Lloyds Banking Group emerged once again as the business group most complained about to the Financial Ombudsman Service, despite receiving less than half the number of complaints it did a year ago.

Lloyds Banking Group was the subject of 62,132 complaints in the first half of 2014, down by 52 per cent from 129,293 in the first half of 2013.