Advice issues drop but 3.32m financial complaints made in just six months: FCA

Complaints about financial advice or financial advisers that were received in the first half of 2017 by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), have dropped by 16%, according to new figures published today

The FCA has published the data on the number of complaints reported by firms for the first half of 2017, with 3.32 million complaints recorded by firms in the first half of 2017.

The majority of complaints (43%) made during the first half of 2017 were related to ‘advising, selling and arranging’, but this is a significant drop to 59% from figures recorded in the first half of 2016.

There was an increase in ‘General administration and customer service’ complaints from 27% of all complaints recorded in the first half of 2016, they now account for 38% of all complaints this year.

The overall figure of 3.32 million – an increase on the 3.04 million complaints received in the second half of 2016 – is alarming, but as the UK regulator points, since June 2016, firms have been required to report data to us in a new way which has increased the number of complaints reported. And this is the first half year in which all firms are reporting under the new rules.

‘Some progress’

Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition, at the FCA, said: “We now require firms to report all complaints which gives us a fuller picture of where the industry might not be meeting customer needs. But even allowing for the change in reporting rules, and some progress made, the numbers are still significant.

“Firms need to do all they can to reduce complaints and ensure that they are working in the best interests of consumers.”

As might agave been expected, payment protection insurance (PPI) continues to be the most complained about product making up a third of all complaints in the first half of 2017. The total number of PPI complaints increased by 24% from 899,000 to 1.11m. Excluding PPI, the number of complaints was 2.21 million, the regulator said.

Almost £2bn redress paid

The total amount of compensation (or redress) paid to consumers was £1.99bn in the first half of 2017. with 82% of that total  for PPI complaints.

The FCA collates and publishes complaints data every six months, alongside aggregated figures covering the whole industry. The data, which can be found on the FCA website, are presented in two different formats: aggregate data showing the overall number of complaints made, and firm-specific data showing figures for individual firms reporting 500 or more opened complaints.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gary Robinson
Head of Video and Ezines at Open Door Media Publishing. Deputy Editor, International Investment. 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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