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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

PPI ‘the most complained-about product’, says FCA 

Payment protection insurance (PPI) has the highest number of complaints among financial products and services, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has found.


A queue of customers © iStock
Overall complaints went down but PPI remained the most complained-about product. © iStock

Based on data provided by financial services firms, PPI had 932,298 complaints between July and December 2015, 6% up from the previous six months. 

Overall, firms received 2.11 million new complaints, a decrease of 1.4% from the first half of the year. The FCA said the reduction was mainly driven by a 10% drop in problems with current accounts and a 15% fall in concerns about savings accounts.

The total redress paid to consumers fell to £1.97bn, which is slightly lower than the £1.98bn paid between January and June 2015.

The regulator explained the fall was mainly owing to a 2% reduction in payments related to general insurance and pure protection products, which include PPI. This accounted for almost 82% of complaints redress payments.

Christopher Woolard, director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said: “It is positive to see that the longer-term reduction in the volume of complaints has continued into the latest period. Firms seem to have taken on board our previous feedback on levels of complaints and we are slowly seeing them address these issues. 

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

Within general insurance and pure protection products, Lloyds Bank had the highest number of complaints with 152,159 received, followed by Barclays (136,433) and Bank of Scotland (120,444). MBNA came fourth with 81,377 complaints, while Home Retail Group Insurance was also within the top five (54,296).

For life insurance, Prudential Assurance topped the list with 8,063 complaints. Friends Life came second (5,496), followed by Royal London (4,530), Aviva Life (4,023) and Phoenix Life (3,215). 

Top five most complained about products and services between July and December 2015:

1. PPI – 932,298 complaints (up 6% compared to the previous six months)
2. Current accounts – 454,276 (down 10%)
3. Other general insurance – 296,505 (down 3%)
4. Credit cards –132,988 (up 9%)
5. Savings, including cash ISAs, and other banking – 67,546 (down 15%)