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Barclays tops FSA complaints list

Barclays is the most complained about bank in Britain, with aggrieved customers lodging more than a quarter of a million complaints against the firm in the first half of 2011.

The bank had 251,563 complaints made against it between January and June, of which it upheld 53%, according to figures released by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Lloyds TSB racked up the second highest number of complaints at 181,907. This was an additional 6,000 complaints on the bank’s previous six-month total and pushed it above Santander, which had taken second slot in the last six months of 2010 but has now moved into third place with 168,888 complaints.

NatWest, Bank of Scotland and HSBC took fourth, fifth and sixth places with 147,109, 130,469 and 98,150 complaints respectively.

Antony Jenkins, chief executive of Barclays retail and business banking, said: “We have made good progress in reducing complaints, with a substantial and sustainable reduction by nearly a third.

“However, there is much more to be done and we are working hard to further improve our service to our customers, putting them at the heart of our business and getting it right first time, every time.”

A Lloyds TSB spokeswoman said: “The complaints figures include those made about payment protection insurance (PPI). If you take those out our banking complaints have gone down compared with the second half of 2010.”

PPI continues to be a major source of bank complaints, with the total number received increasing by 23% in the first half of 2011 compared to the second half of 2010.

PPI is supposed to cover borrowers’ loan repayments if they fall ill, die or lose their jobs, but the product is often riddled with loopholes to prevent people from receiving payouts – leading to a huge number of mis-selling cases. Last month, the FSA published data showing that 16 firms, representing 92% of PPI complaints received in the first half of 2011, paid a total of £215m in redress between January and June 2011 inclusive.

Overall, the number of complaints made to financial firms increased by 3% in 2011 from the last half of 2010, although those made about banking have fallen 22% in a year.

Santander was the quickest at resolving complaints with 98% of grievances dealt with within eight weeks. This compares with 89% by Barclays and 77% by Lloyds TSB.

Aside from complaints against the big banks, the FSA said complaints about British Gas Services Limited have almost doubled in the first six months of 2011 compared with the last half of 2010. British Gas provides boiler insurance cover to householders and is therefore regulated by the FSA.

In the last half of 2010, 19,366 complaints were made to British Gas, with 84% of these upheld. In the first half of this year, presumably following a cold winter, complaints rose to 37,272 with 93% upheld by the firm.

Creditline Financial are here to help people like you to get your money back from the likes of Barclays. If you feel you’ve been missold payment protection, or find out more about how to make a claim by clicking here.

Posted by Michael Castellano on 05 Oct 2011

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