FCA investment complaints drop 20% in 2015

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Investment complaints dropped by a fifth in the second half of 2015, bucking an upward trend in the period since the first half of 2010, FCA data released today shows.

In total there were 36,963 investment complaints in the last six months of 2015, down from 46,019 in the first half.

Complaints related to Peps and Isas (excluding cash Isas) were down 15 per cent compared to H1, at 11,848 from 13,976, while complaints related to investment bonds continued to decline and are almost half what they were in the first half of 2011 (6,202 from 12,306).

However, the FCA noted the decline in complaints about investment bonds was consistent with a decrease in sales in the category.

HSBC saw the most investment complaints, at 3,007, followed by Barclays at 2,880, and Equiniti Financial Services at 1,567.

Across all categories included in the FCA data, complaints were down 1.4 per cent to 2,106,155 from 2,135,508 in the first half of 2015, and this decline was more marked when PPI data was excluded. It received 1,244,937 complaints, up 6 per cent from 1,201,876 in 2015 H1.

The decrease was mostly driven by a 10 per cent drop in complaints about current accounts and a 15 per cent drop in complaints about savings accounts.

Investments only accounted for 2 per cent of all complaints, compared to general insurance and pure protection, which accounted for 59 per cent, while banking and credit cards accounted for 32 per cent. 

Decumulation, life and pensions accounted for 3 per cent of complaints. In this category Prudential Assurance received the most complaints, followed by Friends Life and Royal London Mutual Insurance.

In total there were 62,266 complaints in this category compared to 73,055 in the first half of the year. 

The FCA said there has been a continued increase in personal pensions complaints, which has increased 52 per cent since 2010 H1 from 20,140 to 30,558 in the second half of 2015. However, this is consistent with increasing sales in the sub-category.

In contrast, the declining popularity of endowment policies since 2005 meant this sub-category only received 14,906 complaints in the second half of 2015, compared to 17,986 in the first half.

Last July, the FCA announced it was changing its complaint handling rules to make them “less bureaucratic” for firms and easier for consumers, and to provide the regulator with improved intelligence on complaints.

The change means that complaint data released from March 2017 will not be comparable to data released before this period.