Complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service have soared to 2,000 a week from 1,000 this time last year.
The FOS had expected 1,500 new cases last month, leaving it open to claims by the industry that it has grossly underestimated the amount of complaints it will get this year.
FOS head of communications David Cresswell admits the industry has been telling the FOS it has been too optimistic about the number of complaints, saying trade bodies, life firms and IFAs all believe complaints will not fall this year.
In its last twice-yearly 12-month estimate in January, the FOS expected total complaints to be down to 83,000 in 2004/05 from 98,000 in 2003/04 and fall-ing further to 68,000 in 2005/06.
Cresswell says: “The industry is emphatic that there will be more complaints than we have forecast.”