Latest figures released by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) reveal that it received over 280,000 complaints last year and has a backlog of 163,000 cases. And this is after complaints about PPI are supposed to have ended!
FOS currently has 3,500 staff, which is a big number, but down from the 4,500 in 2016 at the peak of the PPI scandal. The report by FOS says that it cleared 70% of all complaints within 30 days, which is very good, but still leaves 30% of cases taking longer to resolve. This is because the number of non-PPI related complaints has risen significantly. Non-PPI complaints are more complex in their nature which explains the extended timescales.
For example, FOS has reported an increase in pension and investment complaints, in other words Financial Planning complaints, of over 90%, having received over 20,000. That’s a very disappointing number. It’s not clear form the repot what the nature of the complaints are. They could be advice related, or (we’d like to think more likely) about the levels of service being provided by the service providers. We’ve looked at this before.
FOS has a wide remit across financial services including insurance and received almost 45,000 insurance complaints.
These are big numbers and are an indicator that customer service is not what it should be, especially in some of the biggest organisations who should be doing better.
We can report that we have received no complaints again this year.