Financial servicesLatest complaints data reveals sharp rise in fraud and scam complaints

Today, the British Financial Ombudsman Service published the latest complaints data linked to financial businesses as well as frauds and scams. The data deals with complaints handled by the ombudsman service in the first quarter of the 2021/22, for which 50,906 new complaints about financial businesses were recorded. Also, the number of customers asking for help with fraud and scams complaints increased by 66 percentage points.

Further central aspects are:

  • From the total of 50,906 new complaints about financial businesses for the first quarter of 2021/22, current accounts were the most complained about product, amounting to 6,911 cases. This is an increase of 55 percentage points compared to the same period last year (4,466 cases).
  • Around half of these complaints related to current account also have to do with fraud and scams.
  • The number of customers filing fraud and scam complaints – independently of current account issues – increased by 66 percentage points to 5,025 cases. In the same period during the previous year, there were 3,028 such cases.
  • The average uphold rate, where the ombudsman decided in the consumers’ favor, was 60 percent – compared with 50 percent the previous year.
  • Complaints refer to problems caused by fraudsters posing as a customer’s bank and convincing them to move their money to a fake ‘safe account’ or consumers being scammed by paying for goods via bank transfer but not subsequently receiving what they paid for.

Nausicaa Delfas, Financial Ombudsman Service interim Chief Executive and Chief Ombudsman, said: "It’s a real concern that we are seeing such an increase in scams. It’s vital that people take extra care with their finances, as unfortunately fraudsters are becoming increasingly sophisticated.  If people feel they have not been treated fairly by their banks, we are here to help."

Source: Financial Ombudsman Service

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