The Financial Ombudsman Service (“FOS”) has published its annual review for 2016/17.
The FOS received over 1.3 million inquiries which resulted in 321,000 complaints. This represents a reduction of approximately 5.75% on the previous year. More than half of the complaints received related to Payment Protection Instruction however, lenders in the regulated world will be interested to note that complaints about consumer credit rose by 89% (from 13,713 to 25,894).
Lenders should bear in mind that the statistics within the report do not distinguish between complaints about the financial services product and complaints about goods purchased which can often distort the position in relation to consumer credit products. Notwithstanding this, the unarguable increase in consumer credit complaints cannot be ignored.
Within the consumer credit sector the most areas complained of were in relation to debt collection, payday loans, hire purchase, instalment loans and point-of-sale loans. 43% of the consumer credit complaints made were upheld by the FOS.
To see the report in full click here http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/publications/annual-review-2017/index.html
Based on the figures provided by FOS consumer credit is attracting more complaints and lenders should ensure they have the appropriate policies and procedures in place to deal with any customer complaints. Before investigating any complaint the FOS expect customers to have exhausted a lender’s internal complaints procedure. It is crucial that lenders maximise this opportunity and ensure that complaints are readily acknowledged, fully investigated and escalated where appropriate.
For further advice on your complaints policy and procedures please contact one of our experts http://consumercredit.dwf.law/the-experts/.