Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Complaints upheld by FOS doubles in two years

The Herald reports that the proportion of complaints upheld in favour of consumers by the UK Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has doubled in the past two years.

FOS upheld 61% of banking-related complaints, 41% of mortgage complaints, 70% of general insurance complaints and 42% of investment-related complaints. Five banking groups accounted for 38,286 cases – over half of all the new complaints received by the ombudsman during this six-month period.

The British Bankers Association (BBA) response to this data was to immediately claim this was a great success as this translated to "less than one upheld complaint for every 10,000 products you can get from your bank".

Of course this may provide little comfort to the 38,286 bank customers who complained to the FOS in the last six months; and if FOS is upholding 61% of these complaints, this is compelling evidence that the banks' complaint handling systems are wholly inadequate and in need of reform.

Clearly, the FOS is providing a practical remedy to UK consumers with financial disputes, and if you want information on how to complain to the FOS please visit here. Although, for a critical 'insiders' take on problems with the FOS see here.

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