The Financial Ombudsman Service has released its second six-monthly set of complaints data relating to individual financial businesses - including banks, insurance companies and investment firms.
The data covers consumer complaints handled by the ombudsman service between 1 July and 31 December 2009. The data includes both the number of complaints received about individual businesses and the percentage of complaints upheld by the ombudsman service in favour of consumers.
The number of new complaints about each of these individual businesses ranged from 31 to 9952. Five financial services groups each continued to have more than 3,000 complaints each, which together accounted for 46,979 cases - over half of all the new complaints received by the ombudsman during this six-month period. The five offending firms are all banks-Bank of Scotland, Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds TSB and Santander.
The number of new complaints against each business is likely to be affected by the business size. However, experts consulted by the ombudsman were unable to agree how size (or market share) should be taken into account, when comparing complaints statistics across the financial services sector.
The data shows the number of new complaints and the number resolved. There is a time lag between receiving a new case and resolving it. So resolved cases during a period are not all the same as the new cases received in that period. The time lag varies from case to case.
The insurance categories are split between general- that include health and short-term income protection, but also home and motor; and life, that also includes long-term income protection and pensions. So for many insurers it is not possible to say accurately how many cases are on health and related covers and how many are on personal insurances and how many on pensions.
For some companies that only do health related covers, the analysis is easier, although the number of cases compared to banks and credit card companies is very small.
% of complaints resolved in favour of the customer:
Aviva Health 46
AXA PPP Healthcare 34