The Financial Ombudsman Service continues to see an increase Sipp complaint volumes.
The complaints adjudicator received another 408 Sipp-related enquiries between October and December 2016, its latest data shows, up 12 per cent from 364 over the same period in 2015.
140 made it to a final decision from an ombudsman, and 47 per cent were upheld.
From April to December, FOS has now taken on 1,042 new Sipp cases, almost as many as in the whole of the 2015/16 financial year when it took on 1,097.
Last month, the FSCS announced it had to impose a £36m supplementary levy on life and pensions advisers due to ongoing high numbers of Sipp related claims.
Investment advisers, however, were refunded £50m on their total contributions.
The FOS received 700 enquires about personal pensions other than Sipps between October and December last year, down from 869 over the same period in 2015.
However, a slightly higher number made it through to an ombudsman; 92 compared with 90 in 2015.
Annuities saw just 105 new complaints over the quarter, only 17 per cent of which were upheld. This is down from 166 in the same quarter in 2015, when 22 per cent were upheld.
The FOS did not register any complaints data on SSASs. A product type must see more than 30 complaints in a quarter to show up in the published statistics.
Beating a bias?
A response from the FOS to a Freedom of Information Act request also released today shows that, between April 2014 and March 2016, FOS received 298 complaints over the fairness and impartiality of its decisions.
266 were sub-categorised as “bias to the financial business” against the consumer.
FOS said that “standards fell below what was required” in 21 of those cases, and compensation had been offered to consumers on five occasions.
The FOS said in its FOIA response: “We recognise that occasionally we do make mistakes. So, when it’s clear that we could have dealt with aspects of a complaint better, our managers use the same measures for deciding whether compensation should be paid as we do when resolving complaints with financial businesses.”