"There has never been another complaints issue on the same scale as PPI"
The Financial Ombudsman Service received 3,203 new mortgage enquiries in Q3 and took on 1,939 new cases, upholding decisions in 23% of cases.
Its latest figures show that the number of new cases increased from the 1,793 recorded in Q2.
Mortgages were the sixth most complained-about product, while PPI continued to top the list with 41,510 new complaints.
In total, FOS received 195,851 new enquiries and 83,754 new complaints over the quarter – with 9,160 complaints passed to an ombudsman for final decision. On average, the Ombudsman upheld 34% of complaints.
PPI made up around half (49.6%) of all complaints received. FOS says it has started to see an increase in complaints since the PPI deadline passed back in August 2019. In the third quarter, PPI complaints increased 72% from 24,073 in Q2 to 41,510 in Q3.
Caroline Wayman, chief ombudsman and chief executive of the Financial Ombudsman Service, said: “The ombudsman service has been receiving a significant number of complaints from consumers about PPI since 2011.
“There has never been another complaints issue on the same scale as PPI, and the volumes of complaints made to financial businesses around the deadline last August were truly unprecedented."
Paul Dyer, head of regulatory risk and assurance at Huntswood, added: “Whilst PPI continues to dominate FOS referrals, unsecured loan affordability uphold rates appear to pose a greater concern, with up to 90% of ombudsman complaints upheld in favour of the consumer, versus only 16.5% for PPI.
“This reflects the growing regulatory tone in this area and increasing awareness of consumers as to what constitutes fair treatment. It is in the best interest of every firm offering loans to ensure that affordability practice is robust and that complaints handling and quality assurance processes deliver the best outcomes for customers. When you’re paying £550 for every referral, the cost of getting it wrong can become a problem in and of itself.
“To reduce the number of ombudsman cases being referred and upheld, firms should aim to identify the root causes of complaints and assess whether enough is being done to prevent escalation. It’s equally important to analyse outcomes to determine what can be improved in future.”