The number of complaints against IFAs referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service has fallen from 3,092 to 2,643 for the 2011/2012 financial year.
IFAs now represent just 1 per cent of all FOS complaints.
The FOS says the drop reflects the “steady decline” in the number of investments and pensions complaints.
The FOS published its latest figures on complaints trends this morning as part of its annual review.
It marks a continued fall in the number of IFA complaints referred to the FOS. IFA complaints fell to 3,092 last year from 3,260 in 2009/10. IFAs accounted for 1.5 per cent of all FOS complaints in 2010/11 and 2 per cent of all cases in 2009/10.
The proportion of upheld complaints against IFAs has remained steady at 54 per cent.
Complaints about banks as a proportion have stayed the same at 65.5 per cent of cases, due to the continued high volume of payment protection insurance complaints.
PPI accounted for 60 per cent of all new cases during 2011/12, equivalent to 157,716 complaints.
FOS chief executive Natalie Ceeney (pictured) says: “This year has been a struggle for many consumers, who have found themselves burdened by debt, besieged by claims companies and bewildered by the complexity of financial services This has made our work at the ombudsman service more challenging – but more crucial – than ever before.
“I believe there is something we can all learn from what we have seen this year – to help prevent future problems and complaints. What has gone wrong in the past does not need to happen again – as long as we remember that “complaints” are about real people, not numbers, and that “complaints handling” is about customer service, not box ticking.”
The number of investment complaints has fallen 13 per cent from 3,784 in 2011 to 3,308 in 2012, as fewer people complained in rising market conditions.
However the FOS says it continues to see “increasingly entrenched and fiercely contested” disputes about investment products, with a “legalistic approach to complaints handling” adopted by some firms which is meaning cases are taking longer to resolve.
Pensions complaints have jumped 28 per cent from 2,706 to 3,454. Disputes about pensions often involved those in or close to retirement. The FOS says it is continuing to see complaints where consumers have taken out alternative pension arrangements to combat low annuity rates, but ended up taking on higher investment risk as a result.
Stockbroking and portfolio management complaints dropped 19 per cent from 2,267 to 1,842, though the FOS says it is seeing more complaints about unregulated collective investment schemes.
Mortgage complaints have increased by 35 per cent from 7,067 to 9,537, with administrative errors the largest area of complaint. There were also a number of complaints about arrears handling by lenders, particularly arrears charges.
The FOS also saw more complaints about customers who wanting to take out a new mortgage where they had difficulty meeting the loan-to-values required.