Barclays holds the dubious honour of being the most complained about bank during the second half of 2012, thanks largely to the PPI scandal that continues to rock the financial and consumer worlds. The Financial Conduct Authority, which took over from the Financial Services Authority at the beginning of this month, said that the group received more than 400,000 complaints in the whole of last year and this made them the most complained about financial company. The majority of these and other complaints were regarding the mis-selling of payment insurance.
Insurance and financial complaints were previously heard by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) but a shake-up of the industry saw the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) take up the mantle in their place. PPI Northern Ireland refunds can total several thousands of pounds with typical refunds being around £2,500. Banks have paid out or set aside a total of £16bn or more and this figure continues to increase as new cases are filed on a daily basis.
The FCA, which is the replacement for the Financial Services Authority and took over the role of managing PPI complaints on April 1st 2013, has announced figures recently regarding the number of complaints they have received about banks and lenders. The figures highlighted the number of complaints received for each of the lenders and the total value of the complaints that were received. The figures show that, while the banks almost certainly had expected and wanted a reduction in liability by this stage, they are still paying a large sum.
According to the FCA figures there were more than 400,000 complaints received against Barclays in the last six months of 2012. The majority of these complaints were regarding PPI and while this means that they were the single largest recipient of complaints, one group did have considerably more complaints received against their brands. Lloyds Banking Group, which owns Lloyds TSB and Bank of Scotland, received a total of more than 750,000 complaints during the same period. No single brand under their umbrella received more complaints than Barclays, though.
The figures also revealed that payment protection insurance remains at the top of the FCA complaints table with no other product getting anywhere near the same level of complaints. There were a total of 3.4 million complaints received in the second half of 2012, a rise of 1% compared to the first six months. 2.1 million of these complaints were levelled against PPI policies with current accounts as the second most widely complained about product receiving just over 300,000 complaints.
The PPI problem has already cost the banks in excess of £16bn and the figure continues to rise. As well as the value of the refunds, banks are being forced to contact customers they believe to have been affected by the mis-selling scandal while also dealing with the complaints they receive. This means that additional costs have also accrued as lenders have had to pay salaries and other costs associated with dealing with PPI complaints.