And the winner is … Barclays. Or the biggest loser, depending on how one looks at it. One of the High Street’s longest-established financial institutions was also the one that most people complained about in the second half of 2011. Around 12,000 complaints were brought against the bank by its own customers, with a massive 99% of these being successful. This is the same percentage of successful cases brought against Lloyds and MBNA Europe Bank.
While an average of 72% of all complaints were upheld by the Financial Ombudsman Service across Britain’s banks and other lenders, complainants were successful in 84% of those cases brought against Barclays. The company has admitted that PPI claims were responsible for a 67% rise in complaints against it.
Lloyds had been a clear leader in the first six months of 2011, with the most complaints about its services, but was pushed into third place by Barclays, with MBNA in second. Across the industry, complaints against banks continued to rise. Complaints regarding mortgages rose by 38% to 5,202, complaints about insurance increased by 22% to 14,000 while cases involving credit cards were up by 9%, reaching almost 29,000.
After consumer pressure, it emerged that banks had been systematically mis-selling PPI to customers, either face to face or over the telephone, for a number of years, and it was viewed within the industry as standard practice. The lenders were either deliberately not informing their customers correctly about whether taking out PPI was mandatory, whether it could be purchased elsewhere, or selling it to customers who would not be able to claim on the policy.
When it comes to complaints about mis-sold PPI, there are a couple of disparities. The majority of High Street lenders were unsuccessful in, on average, more than 95% of cases, but Nationwide and Capital One were found to be liable for PPI compensation in only 7% and 11% of cases respectively, despite receiving around the same number of complaints against them.
It emerged that more than £2 billion was paid by all the banks combined in 2011 over PPI mis-selling. The headline figures have made so much publicity that it has encouraged more and more people to try to find out whether they can reclaim PPI, with banks setting aside an estimated £7.5 billion to cover the expected compensation.
The top ten banks, in order of PPI complaints against them, were:
- Barclays, with 6,975 complaints, of which 99% were upheld
- MBNA Europe Bank, 5,377 complaints, 99% upheld
- Capital One (Europe) 5,057 complaints, 11% upheld
- Black Horse, 4,999 complaints, 98% upheld
- Lloyds TSB, 4,257 complaints, 99% upheld
- HSBC, 2,813 complaints, 87% upheld
- Bank of Scotland, 1,954 complaints, 98% upheld
- Nationwide, 1,778 complaints, 7% upheld
- Clydesdale Bank, 1,336 complaints, 57% upheld
- HFC Bank, 1,078 complaints, 93% upheld
It is clear from the figures that all lenders have been found to have mis-sold PPI. It makes sense for anyone who has ever had any kind of loan to see if they are owed PPI compensation.