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The FCA has produced its complaints data for the first 6 months of 2017

  • United Kingdom
  • Financial services



Last week the FCA published its latest six-monthly complaints data. This is the first year where firms have had to report their complaints information under the new complaints reporting rules.

Unsurprisingly, the majority of complaints (1.11 million out of 2.21 million) are related to PPI mis-selling; a 24% increase from 899,000 in H1 2016. The other most complained about products include current accounts, credit cards, motor and transport insurance and packaged bank accounts.

There has been a decrease in the percentage of complaints relating to ‘advising, selling and arranging’ which is positive news, however there has been a large increase in the percentage of total complaints relating to ‘general administration and customer service’ (H1 2017 = 38%; H1 2016 = 27%); which suggests that consumers are becoming more active in seeking redress for a poor customer experience.

The total redress paid to consumers across the financial services sector was £1.99 billion in H1 2017 of which 82% (circa £1.6 billion) related to PPI complaints and £220 million was for banking and credit card products. The majority of complaints were closed within ten days, with six in ten complaints being upheld by firms in favour of consumers.
The full FCA data can be found here:


The FCA update follows on from the FOS publishing its complaints data in September. The FOS information showed that the Ombudsman took 170,000 new cases in H1 2017; reflecting a 13% increase in the number of complaints when compared to H2 2016 for banks, insurers and other financial businesses.

PPI (as expected) is still a prevalent cause for complaint (circa 90,000 complaints were received on PPI alone), consumer credit complaints are up by almost a fifth to 15,000 complaints and banking and credit complaints saw an increase by 12% to circa 47,000 complaints. Most complaints relating to new businesses were against those operating in the consumer credit sector and almost two thirds of complaints were against the same ten financial institutions.

The average ‘uphold rate’ (i.e. where the FOS found in favour of the consumer) was 36%.
The full FOS data can be found here:


The industry is actively seeking to ensure that consumers are aware of their right to complain. This is not least because of changes made last year to complaints handling processes which means that more consumers are being told about their right to complain if they are unhappy with the products/services they are receiving.

Christopher Woolard, Executive Director of Strategy and Competition at the FCA has commented (unsurprisingly) that ‘firms need to do all they can to reduce complaints and ensure that they are working in the best interests of consumers’. He recognises that the overall increase in complaints will have been influenced by the new reporting requirements, requiring all complaints to be included.

Also, the number of PPI related complaints is likely to have been impacted by the new communications campaign launched by the FCA to notify consumers that they have until 2019 to make a complaint about PPI mis-selling.

Despite the increase in number of complaints, it is pleasing to see there has, overall, been a downward trend in firms’ complaint handling decisions being overturned by the FOS.