Lloyds sees rise in PPI complaints

LloydsPayment protection insurance (PPI)-related complaints made to Lloyds Banking Group topped half a million last year, new figures show.

The banking giant saw a 130% year-on-year rise in general insurance and PPI complaints in 2011 to reach 562,731, double all its other complaints put together.
Figures released by the group also showed it has cut banking complaints to 1.5 per 1,000 accounts, and excluding PPI and general insurance, its complaints have dropped year-on-year by 24%.

The PPI figures helped to push the total number of complaints in 2011 up by 38% to 843,273 for the group, which is the UK's largest retail bank and includes Lloyds TSB, Halifax and Black Horse.
Lloyds has put £3.2 billion aside to deal with PPI complaints and its figures relate to complaints received, some of which have been cleared up while others are still being processed.

A spokeswoman for the group said it was "hard to judge" whether PPI cases have peaked, saying: "It is still very topical and people are aware of it."

The group saw a 30% reduction in banking complaints including those relating to credit cards, loans and current accounts year-on-year. There were 2.1 banking complaints per 1,000 accounts for the group in 2010, falling to 1.5 by the end of 2011, a ratio which Lloyds said compared favourably with the other major banks. The group said it had made "significant progress on complaint handling".

Martin Dodd, customer services director at Lloyds Banking Group, said the body has set a target of no more than 1.3 complaints per 1,000 accounts for next year, adding: "It is very rewarding to see that the effort we have invested in improving our complaints performance is making a real difference."

Lloyds said the improvement stemmed from initiatives such as its "phone a friend" scheme, which enables staff dealing with customers to quickly get in touch with expert complaint handlers to resolve issues immediately, as well as a consistent approach to clearing up problems.

The figures have been submitted to the Financial Services Authority (FSA) watchdog, which regularly monitors complaints across the industry.
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