Friday, 25 October 2013

Consistency data from the Financial Ombudsman Service

Dear Mr Jones, I work for the Financial Ombudsman Service which, as I’m sure you’ll know, is the free service set up by law with the power to sort out problems between consumers and financial businesses.

I thought you might be interested in the number and type of complaints we received from your constituency over the last year.

During the last financial year (2012/13), 1,468 people living in Hyndburn contacted our helpline – an increase of 131% on the previous financial year.

This led to our taking on 874 complaints which required investigation from people living in Hyndburn, up from 363 in 2011/12.

We’re currently upholding around 48% of complaints from Hyndburn in favour of the consumer. This meant we found that the business had not treated the consumer fairly, so we told the business to pay some form of compensation.

The top 5 most complained about products from people living in Hyndburn were:

PPI – 696 (up from 234 in 2011/2012)
Credit card accounts – 33 (up from 19 in 2011/2012)
Current accounts – 23 (up from 20 in 2011/2012)
House mortgages – 14 (up from 11 in 2011/2012)
Motor insurance – 10 (up from 9 in 2011/2012)

As you can see, we’ve seen a significant rise in the number of PPI complaints from people in your constituency. While this is in line with general complaint trends across the UK as a whole, it’s good to know that people in Hyndburn know where to turn if faced with a financial problem.

But we tend to find that it’s those people who don’t know about us who need us the most. This is why we regularly host events and drop-in’s for local communities across the UK, aimed at raising consumer awareness of financial rights. If you’re interested in finding out more about our work in the community – or if you are running an event in Westminster, or your constituency, and would like us to come along – then please get in touch.

I hope you find this information useful. If you’d like more information about the role of the ombudsman – or would like complaints data for a neighbouring constituency – please let me know.

Many thanks
Emma Partington