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Banks with worst complaints handling are named and shamed

Mortgages arrears complaints made up half of all cases in 2013.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

AIB, PERMANENT TSB, Ulster Bank and Bank of Ireland are all featured in the top ten worst financial institutions for handling customer complaints in the second half of 2013.

The new report from the Financial Services Ombudsman (FSO), show that Avantcard, who took over the MBNA business in Ireland, had the highest number of complaints against them substantiated.

Six complaints against the credit card provider were upheld, with 27 partially substantiated.

The rest of the top ten is contained in this table:

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The FSO says that a partially substantiated claim is usually a case where a customer service issue has arisen from the handling of a complaint.

The Financial Ombudsman William Prasifka said that the overall number of complaints was down.

“For the first time since 2007, there has been a significant decrease in the number of complaints made against Financial Institutions. This is largely due to new procedures introduced by the FSO during 2013.

“The FSO upheld fewer complaints in the second half of 2013, compared to the start of the year. 20% of complaints made were settled without the need for formal investigation. The banking sector saw particular improvement.”

Prafiska said that new reporting powers established last year meant his office was more efficient.

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He added that 3,042 complaints were made to the FSO in the second half of 2013, a 35% decrease on the first half of the year. Half of these were mortgage arrears complaints.

“While the above improvements are certainly welcome, the Review also shows that the issues of mortgage arrears and sale of payment protection insurance continue to be of concern.

“Complaints about mortgage arrears and the repayment terms offered by banks are of particular note in the second half of 2013.”

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