The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has published a review of its activities over the most recent quarter, with a sharp increase in complaints seen.
The last quarter saw 9,401 complaints, which is a nine per cent increase on the previous quarter, but a 22 per cent increase on the same quarter last year. This increase swept across all product lines. Complaints typically sit between 7,000 and 8,500, so rising to 9,400 is a deviation from the norm.
Disputes by product line
Credit disputes continue to lead, followed by general insurance disputes.
- Credit - 2,385 disputes - 42.6 per cent
- General insurance - 1,908 disputes - 34.1 per cent
- Deposit taking - 409 disputes - 7.3 per cent
- Payment systems - 342 disputes - 6.1 per cent
- Investments - 283 disputes - 5.1 per cent
- Life insurance - 256 disputes - 4.6 per cent
- Outside our Jurisdiction - 12 disputes - 0.2 per cent
- Traditional trustee services - 6 disputes - 0.1 per cent
The FOS accepted 5,585 disputes out of the 9,400, which is a 13 per cent increase on the previous quarter, but compared with the same time last year, a one per cent decrease. It must be noted that a complaint that involves multiple products is only counted as one dispute, allowing for the discrepancy in numbers.
The FOS closed 8,741 disputes, a 14 per cent increase on last quarter, but compared with the same time last year, it is a two per cent decrease.
Sixty-three per cent of the disputes were resolved via an agreement between the financial services provider and the consumers, which is a one per cent increase on last quarter.
Outcomes of closed disputes
- Resolved by financial services provider - 4,614 disputes - 52.8 per cent
- Outside Terms of Reference - 1,382 disputes - 15.8 per cent
- Negotiation - 630 disputes - 7.2 per cent
- Discontinued - 549 disputes - 6.3 per cent
- Preliminary view in favour of financial services provider - 443 disputes - 5.1 per cent
- Decision in favour of financial services provider - 429 disputes - 4.9 per cent
- Decision in favour of applicant - 247 disputes - 2.8 per cent
- Preliminary view in favour of applicant - 210 disputes - 2.4 per cent
- Conciliation - 185 disputes - 2.1 per cent
- Assessment - 52 disputes - 0.6 per cent