Financial servicesBritish Financial Ombudsman Service publishes complaints data

Yesterday the British Financial Ombudsman Service released its third set of six-monthly complaints data relating to individual financial businesses – including banks, insurance companies and investment firms. The data shows that the ombudsman received a total of 84,212 new complaints – a small increase on the 82,136 cases received in the second half of 2009. Of these new cases, 89 per cent related to 160 financial businesses (out of more than 100,000 businesses covered by the ombudsman). The ombudsman service upheld an average of 44 per cent of complaints in favour of consumers, compared to 53 per cent in the second half of 2009.

The Bank of Scotland, Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, and Santander all received over 3,000 complaints. Lloyds TSB received the most with 12,750 complaints.

Chief executive and chief ombudsman, Natalie Ceeney, said: "The latest set of complaints data shows that some businesses are really committed to ensuring that complaints are handled well, and are used to inform and improve the service they offer their customers. However, the complaints data also shows there is still more that some businesses need to do to ensure that complaints are properly investigated and fairly resolved."

Mike O’Connor, Chief Executive of Consumer Focus, said: "These results suggest that too many companies are not taking complaints seriously and are content to leave them to pursue problems with the Ombudsman instead."

Source: Financial Ombudsman Service and Consumer Focus

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