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The complaint score: IFAs 2%, banks 61%

IFAs were responsible for just 2 per cent of complaints received by the Financial Ombudsman Service in 2009/10 compared with banks which were responsible for almost two-thirds.

According to the FOS annual report, published last week, IFAs were responsible for 2 per cent of all new complaints compared with 3 per cent the previous year.

Banks were responsible for 61 per cent of complaints followed by general insurers with 11 per cent. Life insurance and investment providers were responsible for 8 per cent of complaints, as were GI intermediaries.

The FOS upheld 39 per cent of complaints against IFAs compared with 94 per cent of complaints against general insurance intermediaries selling PPI, 52 per cent of complaints against banks, 48 per cent against intermediaries selling mortgages or bank products, 44 per cent against general insurers and 31 per cent for life and investment providers.

Half of the total number of disputes referred to the ombudsman service involved four of the UK’s biggest financial firms.

The FOS resolved a record 166,321 disputes, an increase of 46 per cent.

The proportion of complaints referred to the FOS by claim management firms rose from 26 per cent to 28 per cent of cases.The biggest complaint area was PPI, at 30 per cent, with current accounts on15.5 per cent, credit cards 11 per cent and mortgages 4.5 per cent. Mortgage endowments made up 3.5 per cent of complaints.

There was a 27 per cent fall in investment and pension complaints, with mortgage endowment complaints continuing to fall. Complaints about personal pension and annuities fell but complaints about unit-linked bonds and portfolio management complaints increased.

Highclere Financial Services partner Alan Lakey says: “It is great news for IFAs that the proportion of complaints against them has continued to fall. The FSA needs to recognise this.”


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  1. Exasperated me 27th May 2010 at 10:04 am

    Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital. ~Aaron Levenstein

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