Divisions of Phoenix Group and Lloyds Bank are among the most complained about providers across investments, insurance and pensions, according to the latest FCA complaints data.
The FCA had 4.13m complaints in the first half of 2018, up 10 per cent from the 3.7m complaints received in H2 last year.
Phoenix Group subsidiaries Phoenix Life Assurance, Phoenix Life and Abbey Life Assurance Company received the three highest levels of complaints per 1,000 client accounts when it came to investments.
Phoenix Life Assurance had 45.7 complaints in H1 this year, just ahead of Phoenix Life with 22.2 and Abbey Life with 19.4 per 1,000 clients.
Commenting on the figures, a Phoenix spokesman says the group’s “complex” suite of legacy products naturally lead to a higher level of complaints received.
He says: “Our consolidated figure across all our life companies for the decumulation and pensions sector where the majority of our polices sit is in line with the industry. Ensuring customers receive the right outcomes from their complaints is our most important complaints measure, and we continue to strive towards the right customer outcomes.”
Barclays Bank also saw 16.3 complaints over investments.
Share Centre Limited is the most complained about provider of decumulation and pensions, with 45.9 per cent per 1,000 client accounts in the regulator’s breakdown.
Embattled Sipp provider Liberty Sipp had the second-highest level of complaints for the first half of the year, at 44.8.
The firm has been at the centre of continued misselling allegations for close to a year.
Money Marketing reported in August that law firm Anthony Philip James & Co has submitted 500 claims alone to the Financial Services Ombudsman regarding Liberty Sipp, with the cases valued at £18m.
Lloyds’ Halifax Share Dealings had 13.4 decumulation and pensions complaints per 1,000 client cases, while recently-sold Alliance Trust Savings recorded 11.7.
Fidelity’s Financial Administration Services and Zurich’s Sterling ISA Managers are also among the regulator’s most-complained about firms for pensions with 10.1 and 7.2 per 1,000 client account complaints respectively.
Lloyds’ Black Horse Limited had the most complaints in H1 2018 over insurance and pure protection with a total 36,778.
AXA’s Financial Assurance Company came in second with 1,197 complaints, ahead of Barclays Bank (567.2) and Lloyds (526.1).
FCA executive director of strategy and competition Christopher Woolard says: “Firms need to be doing all that they can to reduce complaints. It is clear that firms need to look at the cause of the rise in complaints and address these issues to prevent further increases. It should be a priority to ensure good consumer outcomes are achieved and they should be making sure that they are taking the right steps to treat customers fairly.”
Figures from the regulator also show complaints about payment protection insurance rose 11 per cent to total 1.72m, the highest level in more than four years.
These figures follow the second round of the FCA’s Arnold Schwarzenegger-faced PPI media campaign in April and May.
PPI accounted for 42 per cent of all complaints.
Huntswood head of regulatory development Matthew Drage says: “The fact that PPI continues to be one of the most complained about products is no surprise and is likely due to people acting ahead of the fast approaching deadline.
“With further volatility expected ahead of the August 2019 date, dealing with complaint spikes will only be possible if firms focus on how their capacity planning can allow for flexible resourcing.”
Total redress paid to consumers in the first half of the year across all complaints was up nine per cent from £2.36bn in H2 2017 to £2.57bn in H1 2018.