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FOS figures show banks have double the uphold rate of advisers

The Financial Ombudsman Service upheld almost double the proportion of complaints against banks as it upheld against larger advice firms in the second half of last year.

FOS complaints data, published this week, lists firms that have had 30 new and 30 resolved complaints between July 1 and December 31.

It shows that an average of 81 per cent of complaints were upheld across the top six banks.

For the six adviser firms included in the data, the average uphold rate was 44 per cent.

Royal Bank of Scotland had the highest uphold rate of all the banks, with 93 per cent of complaints upheld.

RBS generated a total of 6,533 FOS complaints between July and December, of which 2,737 complaints were against RBS subsidiary NatWest. The FOS upheld 85 per cent of NatWest complaints.

Lloyds Banking Group had the most complaints referred to the FOS, with 20,310 complaints. The FOS upheld 87 per cent against Lloyds TSB.

Between July and December, Barclays had 12,273 complaints, Santander had 6,202 and HSBC had 6,190.

The FOS upheld 84 per cent of cases against Barclays, 55 per cent against Santander and 80 per cent against HSBC.

Of the advisers, AWD Chase de Vere got 38 complaints and the FOS upheld 81 per cent. Aegon-owned Positive Solutions got 60 complaints and 70 per cent were upheld.

The FOS received 140 complaints against Sesame, 50 against St James’s Place, 47 against Personal Touch Financial Services and 116 against Openwork.

It upheld 36 per cent of complaints against Sesame, 27 per cent against St James’s Place, 26 per cent against PTFS and 25 per cent against Openwork.

AWD head of communications Patrick Connolly says: “The reason for the uphold rate is that complaints relate overwhelmingly to legacy sales issues.”


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There are 11 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Peter Heffernan 1st March 2012 at 12:33 pm

    So lets see, out of a total of 51959 complaints, 451 were attributed to (what seems) mainly netwoks making the split of 99.133% of all complaints in favour of the banks!
    Sants, does this not tell you something????????

  2. Sants is a bank man through and through his mission is to destroy the IFA sector, and he’s succeeding!

  3. Sants doesn’t care about maintaining a vibrant innovative IFA sector, he is a failed executive who has presided over a failed regulator, who in turn by their failings have screwed up our economy.

    When the IFA sector eventually dies down to the level of an irrelevance, then and only then will the journalists and commentators realise exactly what is being done.

    I should write a book – “Death of an IFA”

  4. So all this focus and expense with RDR is going to do what exactly? FSA need to put the focus on the areas that have been identified as causing damage to the industry and determent to the client. All RDR will do is reduce IFA numbers and push client’s into the clutches of the banks.

  5. Its very strange that the regulator in all it’s press releases does not tell the public that in it’s regulationary oversight that Banks give poor advice and IFAs give good advice. The only press releases are that broker ‘x’ has been fined, closed down or both but as they dont use these drastic measures against banks, directors or employees, they say nothing but give the impression that it’s only IFAs that are bad when the opposite is true.

  6. It would be useful to see some of these figures put in perspective. i.e. How many complaints relate to investments against how much investment business was written by each firm / sector. I am sure that they would still show that Hector should have been a tad more concerned about the goings on in the High Street Banks than the minutiae of my advice process or the font size on my documentation. At the moment they are just numbers which may be about as relevant as comparing the number of traffic accidents last year on the M25 vs my rural cul-de-sac.

  7. Soren Lorenson 1st March 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Bill’s right – it would be good to drill down a little further into these figures. However I fear we might not like what we find.

    When you strip out PPI I suspect complaints v business written will show the High Street banks as worse than IFA’s but not significantly.

    That’s the way it was last time this was done.

  8. Julian Stevens 1st March 2012 at 5:41 pm

    It’s very strange, isn’t it? After all these years of regulation, the sector with the lowest number of complaints (both initial and referred) is more relentlessly under the regulatory cosh than ever, whilst the sector that generates by far the greatest number of complaints (both initial and referred) continues to do so.

    Were the FSA’s regulation of the industry in any way even-handed (an apparently forlorn hope), then shouldn’t the numbers of complaints against banks be declining? Why aren’t they?

  9. No surprise there then. I have just had a client on the phone telling me their RBS independent financial advisor has just told them they will look after their whole portfolio FREE of charge on the Standard Life WRAP!!!!! So FSA please take note, the Banks are still lying to the public!! I have advised the client of the TRUE FACTS and left them to make up their own mind. The RBS staff need to read the RDR initiative once again, just so they understand the concept, or is that too hard for them!!! Huge conflict of interest here, we have paid our tax money to keep a Bank secure and they are still ripping us off. UNBELIEVABLE

  10. If an IFA had a large number of complaints and 93% upheld, wouldn’t fines and loss of permissions be the result? So come on Hector, what about withdrawing some of RBS’s permissions? I don’t expect you to close the bank – too dire consequences for the country, but I do expect you to take some action, if you have the balls to do it! Oh, sorry, I forgot; you don’t…

  11. I wonder on what basis Soren Lorenson would exclude PPI complaints. Could it be on the basis that we shouldn’t take account of one of most abject episodes of mis-selling ever seen in our industry?

    In that case, why not take out bank complaints for every policy where they have sold more them of than anyone else? The amazing result will be that banks have fewer complaints than anyone else and that they will then be blameless.

    This will mean that they can continue to mis-sell all the products they want with those beastly IFAs, insurance brokers and mortgage brokers all with their permissions withdrawn, or put out of business in some other way. Banks will then have a clean shot at everything.

    Ah, isn’t that a different version of RDR?

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