Increase in complaints against financial institutions

There has been a significant increase in the number of complaints made against financial institutions in 2009, it was confirmed today.

In all, 7,619 complaints were received by the Financial Services Ombudsman Bill Prasifka last year, a 28% increase.

Complaints against insurance companies rose by 40%, while there was a 19% increase in complaints about banks.

The recession and series of bank bailouts has seen more people contacting the Financial Services Ombudsman to make complaints about the way they have been treated by banks, building societies and insurers.

There was a dramatic rise in complaints against insurance companies which represented 60% of the total number of complaints last year.

Most of those had to do with investment related products which the insurers are selling.

Banks saw an increase of 19% in complaints against them, and the Ombudsman says he has received a number of complaints about banks attempting to remove tracker mortgages from customers.

The Ombudsman has also raised concern that some financial providers have pleaded inability to pay when they were ordered by the Ombudsman to make an award.


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