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satisfied customers?

Lots of people still have complaints about their mortgages

Mortgage issues continue to be the highest drivers of complaints.

THERE WAS A decrease of 42% in complaints made about financial services last year, with banking complaints down 27%.

The Financial Services Ombudsman has published its annual review, which shows 4,477 complaints were received in 2014. Of the total, 3,166 complaints were closed by way of formal investigation, finding and settlement.

Another 928 complaints closed were settled using the resources of the ombudsman’s office and without a requirement to follow through to a formal finding.

So, who are people complaining about the most?

  • Complaints across all categories fell year-on-year but the biggest drop was in investment complaints, down by 65% from 770 to 271.
  • Banking complaints decreased from 2,925 in 2013 to 2,127 last year and insurance complaints were down by 49%.
  • Mortgage issues continue to be the highest driver of complaints, according to the ombudsman’s office, representing 28% of all complaints received.
  • With insurance complaints, 15% of all issues were with payment protection but these fell significantly from 1,736 to 670.

Commenting on the 2014 statistics, ombudsman Bill Prasifka said his office is pleased to see evidence that the changes introduced in 2013, which meant publishing the complaint records of individual service providers and facilitating engagement between them and their customers, had a significant effect on how the industry is handling complaints.

“More complaints are being dealt with at an earlier stage in the process and settled; and this is a very positive outcome for customers,” he said. “However some issues such as mortgage complaints remain a concern and more work remains to be done.”

Prasifka said he expects providers to do everything they can to resolve issues fairly and expeditiously.

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