UK financial institutions face complaints for a number of reasons and consumers can easily raise these through the banks’ complaints and resolution centres. In more intractable cases, consumers can use the Financial Ombudsman Services. The year 2012 saw one of the largest numbers of complaints against banks with consumers, raising as much as 2.5 million complaints. Every 12 seconds, a complaint was lodged against some of Britain’s biggest banks like Lloyds, Barclays, Santander, HSBC and the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Types of Complaints raised against UK banks
Of course the biggest story of the year was the PPI mis-selling compensation claims where banks were literally bombarded with millions of claims letters. Most banks are working on overdrive to clear the massive backlog of claims letters on their desks. Even the Financial Ombudsman is not spared and the body plans to hire some 1000 additional staff this year to assist it in clearing the backlog of work.
Apart from the focus on PPI claims, customers also raised complaints about poor services and other insurance related problems. Most of the complaints were handled by the banks although the financial Ombudsman also handled a large number which passed through body’s dispute resolution procedures.
With some 70% of the complaints being upheld by the Ombudsman in 2012, it is clear that customers have a higher chance of solving their disputes with the banks via the body. According to the British Bankers Association, most of these complaints came from small number of customers and some of the big banks faced a larger number of complaints mostly due to their sheer size.
How to complain against a bank
There are very clear and well laid down procedures that you can use to make complaints against banks. You can institute your complaints with your respective bank because they are usually in the best position to advise you accordingly and expedite speedy resolution of problems. The banks usually have 8 days to look at your issue and come up with a satisfactory solution. The Ombudsman can make some phone calls and emails to ensure your complaints are resolved expeditiously.
Filing Complaints with the Ombudsman
If that period elapses and the bank offers you a resolution which you may consider unsatisfactory, you may then proceed to the Ombudsman which has instituted very clear dispute resolution procedures. Check out the Ombudsman website and download the Complaints forms. Ensure the form is duly signed and the relevant documents attached.
Filing Complaints directly with your bank
If you are planning to raise complaints directly with financial institution you can simply visit the website and get the contact information. You can then call them or drop an email outlining your complaint upon which the bank will raise a ticket and assign your issue to the relevant customer service staff. Some banks have online customer support or online complaints forms that you can conveniently download and return after filling in. You may also pay a visit to your nearest bank branches to pursue your bank complaints.