The most-complained about financial firms

Updated: 

Angry with computer

FCA data reveals Barclays has been on the receiving end of the most complaints.

The Financial Conduct Authority has published its latest complaints data, revealing that once again Barclays has received the most complaints.

The data covers July to December last year, with the total number of complaints falling from 2,911,154 to 2,478,029 compared to the previous six months.

And in fairness to Barclays, it was one of the firms to see a sharp decrease in complaints; it received 309,494 complaints, a fall of 17% from the first six months of 2013.

Here are the five firms who received the most complaints across the year:

Firm

Total number of new complaints

Change from first half of 2013

Barclays Bank (part of Barclays Group)

309,494

-17%

Lloyds Bank (part of Lloyds Banking Group)

256,656

+1%

MBNA

213,311

-10%

Bank of Scotland (part of Lloyds Banking Group)

181,353

-18%

NatWest (part of Royal Bank of Scotland Group)

175,731

-5%


That top five isn't hugely surprising, given the size of the firms involved. It's always going to be the biggest banks and financial firms that get more complaints than smaller firms. Perhaps a more interesting figure is the percentage of complaints upheld.

Let's take a look at the ten firms most likely to have a complaint upheld against them.

Firm

Total number of new complaints

% of complaints upheld

British Gas Insurance

31,234

88%

Black Horse (part of Lloyds Banking Group)

30,400

87%

Lifestyle Services Group

722

83%

Skandia MultiFunds (part of Old Mutual)

504

82%

FirstPlus (part of Barclays Group)

2,763

81%

HBOS Investment Fund Managers (part of Lloyds Banking Group)

665

81%

Lloyds Bank (part of Lloyds Banking Group)

256,656

80%

Financial Administration Services (part of Fidelity Group)

1,615

79%

Domestic & General

10,095

78%

Coutts & Co (part of Royal Bank of Scotland Group)

1,179

76%




What we are complaining about

So what are the things that we are most likely to be complaining about?

Perhaps it should be no surprise that payment protection insurance (PPI) continues to dominate new complaints. It was responsible for a whopping 1,390,756 new complaints in the second half of 2013, though this actually represents a fall of 22% on the first half of the year.

After that comes other general insurance products at 321,812 new complaints (up 3%), current accounts with 303,110 new complaints (up 8%), credit cards with 140,829 new complaints (down 14%) and savings/other banking products, with 82,353 new complaints (down 16%).

Unfortunately, the FCA doesn't break down complaints by specific areas; instead PPI falls within the General Insurance and Pure Protection grouping, while current accounts, credit cards and savings all fall within the Banking grouping.

With that in mind, let's take a look at the worst offenders in each area in terms of both number of new complaints and the percentage of complaints upheld.

Compare current accounts

Banking

Most complaints

Firm

Total number of new complaints

Santander

107,724

Barclays Bank (part of Barclays Group)

80,067

NatWest (part of Royal Bank of Scotland Group)

68,585

HSBC

58,929

Lloyds Bank (part of Lloyds Banking Group)

36,933


% of complaints upheld

Firm

Total number of new complaints

% of complaints upheld

Volkswagen Financial Services

6,528

89%

Aviva Life Services (part of Aviva plc)

9

83%

Coutts & Co (part of Royal Bank of Scotland Group)

1,019

78%

NatWest (part of Royal Bank of Scotland Group)

68,585

72%

Bank of Scotland (part of Lloyds Banking Group)

30,247

71%


Volkswagen Financial Services tops the percentage of complaints upheld table, with a whopping 89% of cases concluded in favour of the complainant. While Aviva received just nine complaints, it was generally found to be in the wrong.

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Home finance (mortgages and equity release)

Most complaints

Firm

Total number of new complaints

Bank of Scotland (part of Lloyds Banking Group)

15,075

Santander

12,257

Nationwide Building Society

5,236

Cheltenham & Gloucester (part of Lloyds Banking Group)

4.676

Barclays Bank (part of Barclays Group)

4,503


% of complaints upheld

Firm

Total number of new complaints

% of complaints upheld

Ulster Bank (part of Royal Bank of Scotland Group)

133

82%

NatWest (part of Royal Bank of Scotland Group)

3,511

79%

Cheltenham & Gloucester (part of Lloyds Banking Group)

4.676

77%

Royal Bank of Scotland (part of Royal Bank of Scotland Group)

1,938

77%

Sainsbury's Bank

22

74%


Not such good results here for the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. While none of its brands feature in the most complaints table, three of the five in the percentage of upheld complaints table are part of its group

General insurance and pure protection (includes PPI)

Most complaints

Firm

Total number of new complaints

Barclays Bank (part of Barclays Group)

222,946

Lloyds Bank (part of Lloyds Banking Group)

217,277

MBNA

203,421

Bank of Scotland (part of Lloyds Banking Group)

133,850

NatWest (part of Royal Bank of Scotland Group)

102,615


% of complaints upheld

Firm

Total number of new complaints

% of complaints upheld

Coutts & Co (part of Royal Bank of Scotland Group)

2

100%

Sainsbury's Bank

73

96%

Clydesdale Financial Services (part of Barclays Group)

74

94%

FirstPlus (part of Barclays Group)

2,209

92%

Black Horse (part of Lloyds Banking Group)

29,732

89%


Coutts & Co is the first firm we've seen where 100% of complaints were upheld, though as it received just two complaints that's perhaps not too surprising. Barclays Group has a brand feature in both tables.

Decumulation, life and pensions

Most complaints

Firm

Total number of new complaints

Prudential

6,391

Friends Life (part of Friends Life Group)

6,219

Phoenix Life (part of Phoenix Group)

5,142

Aviva Life Services (part of Aviva plc)

4,458

Royal London Mutual Insurance (part of Royal London Group)

3,605


% of complaints upheld

Firm

Total number of new complaints

% of complaints upheld

Hargreaves Lansdown Asset Management (part of Hargreaves Lansdown Group)

132

100%

TD Direct Investing (part of TD Wealth)

37

100%

Coventry Building Society

18

100%

AIB Group

17

100%

HBOS Investment Fund Managers (part of Lloyds Banking Group)

16

100%

Legal & General Portfolio Management (part of Legal & General Group)

14

100%

Connells (part of Skipton Building Society)

2

100%

Axa Wealth Limited (part of Axa Group)

2

100%

Legal & General Assurance Society (part of Legal & General Group)

2,452

99%

Clerical Medical (part of Lloyds banking Group)

424

99%

Friends Life (part of Friends Life Group)

6,219

98%

Zurich Assurance (part of Zurich Insurance Group)

3,420

98%

Royal London CIS (part of Royal London Group)

1,657

98%


I had to extend the percentage of claims upheld table as there were simply so many firms found to be in the wrong in 95%+ of cases, though as you can see the actual number of complaints received can vary wildly.

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Investments

Most complaints

Firm

Total number of new complaints

Hargreaves Lansdown Asset Management

3,173

Barclays Stockbrokers (part of Barclays Group)

1,799

Santander

1,791

Financial Administration Services (part of Fidelity Group)

1,540

HSBC Bank

1,480


% of complaints upheld

Firm

Total number of new complaints

% of complaints upheld

Guardian Assurance

4

100%

Citibank International (part of Citi-EMEA Group)

21

88%

Bank of Scotland (part of Lloyds Banking Group)

1,207

82%

Skandia MultiFunds (part of Old Mutual)

504

82%

HBOS Investment Fund Managers (part of Lloyds Banking Group)

649

81%


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