FCA Publishes Latest Complaints Data

The FCA has released its complaints data for H1 2021.

Two different types of data are published by the regulator: firm specific complaints data (including data from individual firms that have reported 500 or more complaints in a six month period, or 1,000 or more in a year) and aggregate (total) complaints data (including all the complaints that firms report to the FCA).

Below are the key findings from this period’s complaints data:

  • Financial services firms received 2.04m complaints. This was 7% lower than in 2020 H2 (2.19m) and is the lowest level recorded since 2016 H2.
  • The insurance and pure protection product group saw the largest decrease in complaints received by firms (from 1.01m complaints in 2020 H2 to 0.88m complaints in 2021 H1).
  • There was a decrease in home finance complaints (11%), while there were significant increases in investments (18%) and decumulation and pensions complaints (26%).
  • The tailing off of complaints about Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) (256,416 in 2020 H2 to 56,619 in 2021 H1) continues to drive the decrease in insurance and pure protection complaints.
  • There has been a decrease of 63% in complaints relating to travel insurance, following a spike in 2020 which was driven by Covid-19.
  • Complaints about platforms have increased from 8,431 in 2019 H2 to 17,090 in 2021 H1 (an increase of 103%). Complaints regarding workplace personal pensions have also been increasing steadily from 7,642 in 2017 H2 to 14,974 in 2021 H1 (96% increase).

As a reminder, the FCA defines a complaint in its Handbook under The Disputes Resolution Procedure (DISP). A complaint, according to the FCA, is:

“Any oral or written expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not, from, or on behalf of, a person about the provision of, or failure to provide, a financial service or a redress determination, which:

  • alleges that the complainant has suffered (or may suffer) financial loss, material distress or material inconvenience;
  • relates to an activity of that respondent, or of any other respondent with whom that respondent has some connection in marketing or providing financial services or products, which comes under the jurisdiction of the Financial Ombudsman Service.”

A sound understanding of complaints handling also falls under the eight core knowledge requirements of the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD). Therefore, it’s important that those involved in the insurance distribution chain can demonstrate the minimum necessary knowledge in dealing with complaints.

Complaints data for H2 2021 is expected to be published on 28 April 2022.

If you need any advice on complaints handling or other compliance issues, please contact your RWA Business Manager or email helpdesk@rwagroup.co.uk.

About the author

Kirk joined RWA in 2015, having worked in the financial services sector for many years. He started out in both the general insurance and mortgage advice arms of HSBC, before becoming the Compliance Officer at Go Compare and Training & Competence Manager at Optimum Credit. 

At RWA, Kirk is Deputy Head of Compliance. He supports RWA clients by looking after their compliance, training and competence needs and keeping them up to date with regulatory changes. He promotes the achievement of fair customer outcomes and specialises in designing and implementing T&C schemes for firms of all sizes.

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