Lloyds, Barclays Receive Highest Number of Complaints, FCA Says

Lloyds Banking Group Plc and Barclays Plc received combined customer complaints of almost 786,000 in the second half of 2014, accounting for about a third of grievances, the financial-services regulator said.

Complaints rose 1 percent since the first half of 2014 to 2.2 million, excluding long-running issues related to the sale of payment protection insurance, the Financial Conduct Authority said Monday.

They were down 7 percent when PPI was included, and most banks received fewer complaints for the period than they had in the first half. Grievances from customers who were sold PPI when they didn’t need or want it have dominated the statistics since 2011.

“Today’s statistics offer a mixed picture,” said Christopher Woolard, FCA director of strategy and competition. “While the overall decreases we have seen should be welcomed, there is still more for financial services firms to do.”

Customers have become more successful in pursuing their claims, the FCA said. They prevailed 60 percent of the time, a higher rate than at any point in the last five years.

Banks have paid 18 billion pounds ($27 billion) in redress to customers who were wrongly sold PPI through December. While the product accounted for less than half of complaints for the first time in the last three years, it was still the most complained-about issue.

“We remain absolutely committed to keeping complaint levels low,” said Martin Dodd, customer service director at Lloyds, in an e-mailed statement.

Matt Hammerstein, Barclays’s client and customer experience head, said in an e-mailed statement, “we know we still have further to go and are not complacent.”

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