Firms reported receiving a record number of gripes about payment protection insurance in the second half of last year as the deadline for making a complaint about PPI approached.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said there was a 75% surge in PPI complaints recorded by companies between the first half of 2019 and the second half.
It said there were 3.71 million complaints about the product in the second half of last year.
The FCA said this was the highest level of PPI complaints reported to it by firms, coinciding with the deadline for submitting claims to firms by August 29 2019.
Overall, 5.83 million complaints about PPI were recorded during 2019, an increase of 77% on the 3.30 million submitted during 2018.
PPI complaints made up nearly two-thirds (62%) of complaints to financial firms in the second half of last year. Overall, 6.02 million complaints were recorded.
In the past, PPI was routinely sold alongside other products such as store cards, credit cards and mortgages. It was meant to cover payments if people were unable to make them, perhaps due to a job loss or an accident.
As many as 64 million PPI policies were sold in the UK, mostly between 1990 and 2010, but some as far back as the 1970s. However, PPI was often mis-sold, as it turned out to be unsuitable or people were pressured into taking it out.
Complaints about matters other than PPI increased by 6% compared with the first half of the year, the FCA said.
Excluding PPI complaints, the most complained-about products were current accounts (10% of all complaints), credit cards (6%) and other general insurance products (5%).
There were 615,802 complaints about current accounts in the second half of 2019 – a 4% increase on the first half of last year.