Investment complaints drop to lowest level since 2008

Investment product complaints dropped to the lowest level since the second half of 2008, new figures from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) have revealed.

Investment complaints dropped to 40,972 in the second half of 2011, down from 43,605 during the first six months of the year.

The figures show almost 15,000 less complaints than the peak period for complaints in the first half of 2009, when 55,946 complaints were reported.

Complaints against investment managers increased slightly to 10,854, from 10,452 during the prior six months.

However, personal investment complaints rose by more than 3,000 to 27,792 rising from 24,541 in the first half of 2011.

The regulator reported 11,002 investment management closed complaints rose to and 27,167 closed personal investment complaints.

Volume of complaints by investment product type H1 2011 H2 2011  
PEPs / ISAs  (exc Cash ISAs) 12,058 11,739 -319
Investment bonds 12,306 10,881 -1,425
Other investment products/funds 7,511 5,834 -1,677
Unit trusts/OEICs 5,141 5,177 +36
Investment management/service (inc. platforms) 4,787 5,151 +364
Structured products 1,219 1,692 +473

*Source FSA

According to the latest figures, 86% of investment complaints were closed within eight weeks as a proportion of total complains, down from 90% in the first half of the year. Investment complaints had the joint lowest upheld rate for complaints, with just 44% upheld.

Yet, redress paid out to investment complainants was £47.7m during the second half, although this was lower than the £49.4m paid out during the first half.

The total number of complaints during the second half increased by 21% to 2,256,172, fuelled by a 49% rise within the ‘general insurance and pure protection’ segment.