Lloyds Banking Group has topped the bank complaints league so far this year with nearly 290,000 gripes, according to figures. The state-backed group’s companies prompted 288,717 complaints about issues like poor service, bad advice and charges over the past six months, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) said. Barclays and Santander were the next biggest offenders, with 250,667 and 244,978 complaints respectively. It is the first time the FSA has detailed the findings by firm.
With more than 140 million bank accounts in the UK and billions of transactions a year, there will inevitably be instances when things go wrong.
The British Bankers’ Association:
State-controlled outfit Royal Bank of Scotland – whose businesses include RBS and NatWest – drew 142,688 complaints, while HSBC attracted 81,271. Altogether, bank and building society customers made a total of 1.25 million complaints, the FSA said – up 5% on the same period last year. Among the data published by the FSA was the proportion of complaints dealt with within eight weeks.
Lloyds TSB secured a completion rate of 97% for customers, while Barclays dealt with 91% of cases within the period. Santander closed only 46% of complaints within eight weeks.
Bank Complaints League:
- Lloyds Banking Group – 288,717 complaints.
- Barclays – 250,667.
- Santander – 244,978.
- Royal Bank of Scotland – 142,688.
- HSBC – 81,271.
- Total – 1,250,000,
The FSA is proposing changes to its complaints handling rules to help drive up standards. The proposals include making banks identify a senior manager responsible for handling complaints and creating remedies for common problems. Officials also want to stop banks sending letters which reject complaints but fail to explain that customers can challenge them and go to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
The British Bankers’ Association said the complaint figures should be taken in context with the number of bank accounts. It said: “The larger the bank is the more complaints it is statistically likely to receive and, with more than 140 million bank accounts in the UK and billions of transactions a year, there will inevitably be instances when things go wrong.”
Lloyds TSB said proportionally, the number of complaints equated to less than 1% of their 30m customers. “Our relationship with our customers is at the heart of our business and we take all feedback very seriously. Like every organisation we know there are areas where we can improve and we’re working with our customers to do just that,” it said in a statement. “The vast majority of our customers are happy with the service we provide and this is reflected in the low number of complaints we receive relative to the high number of accounts our customers hold.” – Skynews