UK

PPI Complaints: Ombudsman Dealing With 2,000 Calls A Day As Mis-Selling Scandal Continues

05/03/2013 06:55 GMT

The number of complaints made to the Financial Ombudsman about payment protection insurance (PPI) has risen yet again, with the watchdog handling around 2,000 complaints a day.

This is up from its last figures, published in January, which showed it received between 8,000 and 10,000 a week.

Complaints about PPI made up 74% of the total complaints referred to the ombudsman during the second half of 2012 – with 211,885 new PPI complaints (compared to 85,562 in the previous period).

Five financial services groups accounted for 78% of all new PPI cases received between 1 July and 31 December 2012 and in total, the ombudsman has received more than 600,000 complaints about the mis-selling scandal.

Natalie Ceeney, chief executive and chief ombudsman, said in a statement: "Over the last year or so, we have geared up substantially to deal with these record complaint numbers and we are now resolving more cases each week than ever before.

"However, as the complaint levels show no sign of slowing, consumers are increasingly having to wait longer to get their complaints sorted – with many businesses still continuing to cause unnecessary delays.

"Where businesses have shown a real commitment to better customer service and diligent complaints handling – including actively engaging with the ombudsman – cases are resolved more quickly and easily, to the benefit of everyone."

Earlier this year, a bankers trade body appealed to the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to introduce a time limit for customers who were mis-sold PPI to claim back their money.

The British Bankers' Association (BBA) said the banking industry would fund a widespread advertising campaign to ensure consumers are aware of the PPI issue and how to complain as part of the deal if a time limit could be imposed.

In response the FSA said in a statement: "Our key priority is to ensure consumers are protected, so the FSA board would need to be convinced that any proposals would be in the interests of consumers.

"We have had initial discussions and are prepared to consider the merits of this and other options. A key consideration will be the potential to get compensation to more consumers, more quickly we will continue to hold discussions with the BBA as well as actively seeking the opinions of consumer groups and other stakeholders."