A record 508,881 new financial dispute cases were received by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) last year, 92% more than the previous year, as complaints about mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) continued to soar.
According to the ombudsman's annual review, disputes regarding mis-sold PPI more than doubled last year to over 378,600, with PPI cases accounting for 74% of all new cases.
Despite a significant rise in the number of PPI complaints, the report's findings suggest fewer people are passing their claims through a claims management company (CMCs) and are taking matters into their own hands when claiming back mis-sold PPI.
CMCs have become widespread since the PPI scandal broke, offering to claim back mis-sold PPI on behalf of the customer. Many of these firms, however, demand high fees in return for claiming back cash.
As well as a rise in PPI cases, the review also revealed an increase in complaints relating to large high street banks. Four of the UK's largest banking groups were linked to 62% of all complaints received, 10% more than last year.
Natalie Ceeney, chief ombudsman, said: "We have seen a much stronger consumer voice in the last year, with people becoming more aware of their rights and less willing to put up with poor customer service.
"As levels of confidence in financial services have eroded, it is disappointing that we still haven't seen any significant improvement in complaints handling. Too many financial businesses still seem unable to sort out problems themselves, without the ombudsman having to get involved.
"With complaint numbers doubling, this has been another challenging year for the ombudsman. And if customer dissatisfaction remains at these record levels, the challenges we face are likely to continue for the foreseeable future," she said.
Compare the best savings rates How to independently claim back mis-sold PPI Find out how to choose the best bank account by reading our guides to help you open and manage your bank account.
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
Moneyfacts.co.uk will, like most other websites, place cookies onto your computer’s
hard drive. This includes tracking cookies.