During the second half of 2018, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) received 3.91 million complaints, 5 per cent fewer than the 4.13 million figure reported in H1 2018, the regulator today announced.
This is the first time the number of complaints has fallen since an amendment was introduced in 2016, which changed the way firms were required to report complaints.
In H2 2018, 3,181 firms reported receiving one or more complaints, with 231 of these firms reporting 500 or more. These firms accounted for almost 98 per cent of all complaints reported.
During the period, payment protection insurance (PPI) continued to be the most complained about product, making up 40 per cent of all complaints. However, this was a decrease of 8 per cent from 1.72 million in the first half 2018 to 1.58 million. This dramatic reduction is due to a change in reporting, which allowed firm to exclude from their complaints return any PPI complaints where it was established that the complainant had not purchased a PPI policy from the firm.
When PPI was excluded from the data, the total number of complaints fell from 2.41 million to 2.33 million over 2018. Despite remaining the second most complained about product, current account complaints decreased by 13 per cent over the six-month period. By contrast, credit cards, the third most complained about product, saw an increase of 10 per cent.
The number of complaints that were resolved within three days by firms also saw a rise, growing to 37 per cent in H2 2018, compared to 35 per cent in H1. However, those closed within 8 weeks increased from to 92 per cent to 95 per cent.
There was also an increased proportion of PPI complaints that firms closed within 8 weeks, from 89 per cent to 97 per cent. This shows that firms dealt with PPI complaints more quickly on average than in 2018 H1.
Commenting, FCA executive director of strategy and competition Christopher Woolard said: “It is encouraging to see that complaint figures have dropped and firms are dealing with complaints more quickly.
“We expect firms to continue to focus on ensuring their customers are well served and that they respond quickly where consumers complain.”
Subscribe to our newsletter to receive breaking news by email.