Pensions ‘least complained about’ sector as FCA complaints top 3.76m

During the second half of 2017 a total of 3.76m complaints were received by the Financial Conduct Authority, although the much-maligned pensions industry was the financial services sector with the lowest percentage, according the latest figures released.

Complaints about PPI rocketed by 40% to 1.55m, the highest level of complaints about PPI for more than four years, thanks in part to the UK regulators’ recent TV campaigns. The rise in complaints is an increase of 427,032 on the first half of the year.

The decumulation and pensions products were the least complained about products in the second half of 2017, the FCA said in a statement.

The category, which includes both occupational and personal pension products, made up just 1% of all complaints recorded by the financial services firms in the second half of 2017, with official concerns raised for just 1.2 (down from 1.3 in H1) in every 1,000 of these products.

Similarly, redress for pensions and decumulation products was the second smallest among the regulator’s six categories. Around £20m of redress was paid in H2, down from £23m in H1, the FCA said.

PPI payouts top £30bn

In January 2018 firms paid out £415.8m in redress to customers who complained about payment protection insurance (PPI). This is the highest figure since March 2016 and takes the amount paid since January 2011 to £30bn.

Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA said: “Having set a deadline for PPI complaints, we are encouraging consumers to decide whether they want to claim, and if they do, to make their complaint as soon as possible, as many already have.

“When PPI is taken out of the mix, the numbers of complaints firms are receiving has remained stable. Firms should be doing all they can to reduce complaints and ensure they are treating customers fairly.”

Excluding PPI the number of complaints received by firms was 2.21m, around 13,000 fewer than the previous six months.

After PPI, the next most complained about products are current accounts, with 509,047 complaints and then credit cards with 314,586 complaints.

Among firms offering decumulation and pensions products, Alliance Trust Savings recorded the highest number of complaints per 1,000 policyholders, at 26.4.

Phoenix complaints

However, of the firms providing a form of workplace pension product, Phoenix Life Assurance ranked worst, with 4.62 complaints per 1,000 policyholders. Just over 3,000 complaints were received in this category in the second half of the year, with most relating to general administration or customer service concerns. Nearly four in five (78.1%) were upheld.

When assessed by the number of products sold within the period, Northern Bank recorded worst in this category with complaints for 100 out of every 1,000 product, the UK regulator said.

Click here to view the full FCA’s firm specific complaints data.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gary Robinson
Head of Video and Ezines at Open Door Media Publishing. An experienced journalist and filmmaker with more than 20 years' financial services experience, both as journalist and originally as a fully qualified IFA, Gary works across both International Investment and InvestmentEurope titles. Previous video production credits include projects on BBC, C4 and SKY.

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