One in five bank complaints are not properly dealt with

A fifth of customer complaints about current accounts are being handled poorly.

Bank complaints about current accounts are not being dealt with properly and one fifth of all customers who make a complaint towards their bank don't get a satisfactory response, consumer group Which? has claimed.%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
The worst offenders are Bank of Scotland, Barclays and Co-operative Bank while First Direct and Nationwide were praised for the way they dealt with these kind of complaints.

Current account complaints
Two thirds of customers have complained to their bank about problems with their current account and 29% have had to make more than one complaint for the issue to be resolved.

Worryingly, many people don't even bother to complain with 19% saying they don't think their bank will be able to solve the problem while 25% didn't want to call an expensive telephone number in order to speak to their bank.

Just over 2,000 adults were questioned by Which? this year in order to complete this research.

The worst banks for complaining
In the past year Lloyds has had the highest number of customers who have had problems complaining about it. Of its customers 30% had a problem and the Co-operative Bank and Bank of Scotland were only margionally better as 29% of their customers said they had issues complaining about current account issues.

Those with Lloyds were more likely to struggle changing address or personal information than with any other bank while mistakes on statements was one of the top issues for Co-operative customers.

At the other end of the scale only 9% of First Direct customers had a problem with their bank and 12% of Nationwide customers were unhappy.

In the table below you can see which banks customers had the highest and lowest percentage of customers who had a problem complaining.

Problem *

Customers with problems in the past year

Lloyds TSB

30%

The Co-operative

29%

Bank of Scotland

29%

RBS

28%

Barclays

27%

Santander

27%

Halifax

27%

NatWest

26%

HSBC

22%

Yorkshire Bank

19%

Nationwide

12%

First Direct

9%


*source: Which?

Official banking complaints
The FCA and the Financial Ombudsman (FOS) are required to publish results of banking complaints and in the second half of 2012 there were 3.2million made to the FCA.

In the financial year 2011/12 the FOS received 173,000 complaints and 70% of these were upheld.

However, half of the complaints made by customers are resolved on the same day they are made. This means they don't have to be reported to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and therefore don't show up on official reports into these figures.

How to complain to your bank
If you have any problems you should always complain to your bank in the first instance, either on the phone or if you can in branch.

The bank then has eight weeks to get back to you, and if by this time it's either not responded or given a response you're not happy with – you take take the complaint higher to the FOS.
Full details and a step-by-step guide of how to do this can be found in our article - How to complain to your bank and win.

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One in five bank complaints are not properly dealt with

Figures from charity Age UK show that 29% of those over 60 feel uncertain or negative about their current financial situation - with millions facing poverty and hardship.

Even though saving for retirement is not much fun, the message is therefore that having to rely on dwindling state benefits in retirement is even less so.

To avoid ending up in this situation, adviser Hargreaves Lansdown recommends saving a proportion of your salary equal to half your age at the time of starting a pension.

In other words, if you are 30 when you start a pension, you should put in 15% throughout your working life. If you start at 24, saving 12% of your salary a year should produce a similar return.

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