Banks see number of complaints decrease

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Complaints against banks fell in the second half of last year as fewer people lodged objections about insurance protection mis-selling.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said yesterday there were 2.2 million complaints against financial firms between July and December 2014, down 7 per cent from the first half of the year and down 12 per cent from the second half of 2013.

The FCA said Barclays was the most complained about firm, with 276,626 complaints in the second half of the year.

Lloyds Banking Group would have been the most complained about if its Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland brands were added together, with a combined 474,651 complaints.

Royal Bank of Scotland’s NatWest and RBS brands had a combined 200,962 complaints. Those banks all saw a drop, but there was a rise at HSBC to 152,148.

Payment protection insurance (PPI) made up about half of all grievances, and excluding a drop seen in those numbers, complaints rose by 1 per cent from the first half of the year.

That was due to an 8 per cent rise in the number of complaints relating to banking and credit cards, the FCA said.

Banks paid out £2.4bn in compensation to customers in the last six months of the year, up from £2.34bn in the previous six months, with 88 per cent related to PPI and other insurance and protection products.

PPI mis-selling has become the costliest consumer finance scandal ever in the UK.