Lloyds tops FOS complaints data

Lloyds Banking Group has emerged as the most complained about bank during the first half of the year, data from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) shows.

In its complaints data published today, the FOS reveals that Lloyds received 37,696 new complaints against it between January 1 and June 30. Lloyds’ complaints figures are almost double that of the number of complaints received by Barclays, which had 19,569 complaints, making Barclays the second most complained about bank.

HSBC received 14,071 new complaints, while Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) had 13,391 new complaints, and Santander had 7,247 complaints.

During the same period Lloyds TSB, part of Lloyds Banking Group, had 63% of complaints against it upheld. Barclays had 43% of complaints upheld, HSBC had 20% and RBS had 45% of complaints upheld. Santander had 44% of complaints against it upheld.

Complaints about payment protection insurance were the main reason consumers complained about banks. The only exception was Santander, with the bulk of its complaints concerning banking and credit issues.

Overall during the first six months of the year the FOS received 149,925 new complaints, up 54% on the 97,237 cases it received during the second half of last year.

Out of the total new complaints, 98,632 cases related to PPI.

Natalie Ceeney, the chief executive of the FOS and chief ombudsman, says: “These latest figures show a significant increase in the number of new PPI complaints referred to the ombudsman during the first half of 2011. This period coincided with the time when most of the high street banks and some other financial businesses had put PPI complaints on hold, because of their legal challenge against the ombudsman service and FSA.

“As a result, complaints in this period about PPI were harder fought, and harder to resolve – particularly if we found in favour of a consumer. This data therefore gives only a partial view on the cases which we were working to resolve over this period.”