The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has published issue 131 of Ombudsman News.  In this issue, FOS focuses on its complaint statistics for the third quarter of the 2015/16 financial year.  In October, November and December of last year:

  • FOS handled 127,965 enquiries from consumers, taking on 79,338 new cases – with 12,774 complaints passed to an Ombudsman as the final stage of its complaints handling process.
  • PPI remained the most complained about financial product, with 43,982 new cases in the third quarter.  Packaged bank accounts were the second most complained about product, with 10,450 new cases – slightly up from the last quarter.
  • The proportion of complaints it upheld in favour of consumers was 54% - ranging from 18% for complaints about packaged bank accounts and to 67% for complaints about PPI.

Also of interest in the issue, is the case studies of complaints involving relationship breakdowns.  FOS explains that it regularly hears from people whose relationship troubles have led to problems with their finances.  Any difficulties will be coming at an already stressful time.  The role of FOS is to decide whether a business has treated their customer fairly given the circumstances.

FOS recognises that while a business is unlikely to have directly caused the relationship breakdown, the actions of the business may have caused the customer further upset.  FOS will consider whether the business has recognised the emotional and practical impact of their mistake.