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Big rise in endowment complaints to watchdog

Complaints on endowments rose by more than 60 per cent last year, with 40 per cent being upheld, says the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Its annual report shows it received 15,000 endowment complaints in the last financial year, up from 9,000 in 2000, accounting for nearly half its caseload. IFAs were the subject of only 10 per cent or 1,500 of the complaints and had only 600 upheld against them.

Pension complaints rose by 75 per cent to 5,881 from 3,363 the previous year. The third biggest area of complaints involved mortgages, up to 3,647 from 2,545 in 2000, which the ombudsman says was due to concern over dual variable rates.

FOS consumer and parliamentary liaison officer Alison Hoyland says: “In many cases, we can predict when the peaks and troughs of complaints will occur and, as the second round of reprojection letters go out, we expect there to be a further increase in terms of complaints.”

Syndaxi Financial Planning principal Robert Reid says: “As far as pension complaints are concerned, a lot of people are using the ombudsman to check up on the amount of compensation they received through the misselling review.”

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