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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

General Insurance: FOS reveals complaints figures

The UK Financial Ombudsman Service’s annual report for the past 12 months has disclosed that 10,652 complaints relating to payment protection insurance (PPI) were brought in the year to 31 March, an increase from 1832 in the previous year.

This increase is as a result of many more individual policyholders pursuing their own complaints, often using standard templates provided by newspapers and websites established for this purpose. Increases were also noted in the number of complaints relating to buildings and contents insurance, while those for health and travel had reduced.

Shortly afterwards, the UK Competition Commission produced a report on PPI, suggesting that customers were paying an additional £1.4bn per annum due to the prevailing anti-competitive selling system. Suggestions for improving the situation include further standardisation of PPI information, prohibition on selling PPI as an extension of a credit agreement, reminders about customers’ rights and reduction in the barriers to switching.