Barclays tops PPI complaints list

BarclaysBarclays was the most complained-about bank in the last six months of 2011, according to the financial ombudsman, with nearly 12,000 cases brought by consumers.

The bank also topped the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS)'s list for the highest number of payment protection insurance complaints, of which 99% were found in consumers' favour.
Some 84% of cases brought against Barclays generally were upheld by the ombudsman, compared with an average of 72% across financial businesses.

Barclays, which has set aside £1 billion to cover mis-selling claims, issued figures last week showing PPI fuelled a 67% jump in the total number of complaints in its general insurance and protection business in the second half of 2011.

The bank previously said that excluding the PPI figure, its volume of complaints dropped by 29% in the half-year compared with 2010 and said that tackling complaints was its "top priority".

A huge 99% of PPI complaints involving MBNA Europe Bank and Lloyds TSB Bank were also upheld in favour of consumers, while the rates for Lloyds Banking Group divisions Black Horse and Bank of Scotland were nearly as high at 98%.

There were large disparities between businesses in terms of the percentage of PPI cases upheld however, with only 7% involving the Nationwide Building Society being resolved in consumers' favour.

Natalie Ceeney, chief executive and chief ombudsman, said the huge variation in PPI uphold rates "clearly highlights the difference in PPI complaints handling across major businesses over this period".

Lloyds TSB Bank was the most complained about business generally in the first half of 2011, but it was pushed into third place in the latest figures, with MBNA Europe Bank coming second. However when the businesses were lumped together into groups, Lloyds was the most complained about overall, Barclays was second and MBNA came third.

Overall, complaints about financial services firms dropped by a third over the period, but the FOS cautioned that it expects them to rise again, fuelled by a record 165,000 PPI complaints in 2012/13. The FOS received 100,000 new complaints between July and December last year compared with almost 150,000 during the previous six months.

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