Financial ombudsman receives 3,500 complaints linked to COVID-19

The Financial Ombudsman Service has received more than 3,500 complaints related to disruption caused by the pandemic.

Caroline Wayman, chief ombudsman and chief executive of the Financial Ombudsman Service,

The ombudsman’s report, published today, highlights the impact that Covid-19 has had on a wide range of financial issues for consumers and small businesses.

Almost a quarter of these complaints are from consumers who have had travel plans disrupted and have had travel insurance claims declined by the insurer.

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The ombudsman service has also received about 200 complaints about claims to banks made under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 from consumers who want their money refunded by their credit provider for cancelled holidays, sport fixtures and concerts that either were cancelled or have been cancelled.

The pandemic has caused widespread disruption to daily life.

Today’s figures show that the ombudsman service has already received more complaints from small businesses this year than it received in the whole of the last financial year. This increase has been driven largely by complaints about business interruption insurance and Covid-19 related loan schemes,

There was also an increase in complaints about insurance claims related to cancelled wedding ceremonies

Caroline Wayman, chief ombudsman and chief executive of the Financial Ombudsman Service, said: “Covid-19 has had a huge impact on virtually all elements of our lives, including our finances.

“Since measures to control the virus in the UK were put in place, we’ve been hearing from people who aren’t happy with how their financial provider has treated them.

“We also know that financial businesses themselves have been impacted in their ability to process claims and complaints, and we’ve seen that many have adapted well.

“However, some financial businesses must continue to do more to ensure they are treating their customers fairly."

If anyone isn’t happy with how their complaint about a financial provider has been dealt with, they can come to our service and we’ll see if we can help.”

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James Mitchinson