Barclays tops list of bank complaints

Barclays remains the most complained about bank in the UK as new figures show more than a quarter of a million complaints against them in the first half of the year.

Complaints figures published by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) revealed that Barclays received 251,563 complaints, followed by Lloyds TSB with 181,907 and Santander with 168,888.

The figures also show how the payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling scandal has affected the whole sector.

Businesses with strong regional links saw both a rise and fall in complaint figures compared to previous half-year statistics.

Aviva had 30,278 complaints (down from 30,536 in the second half of 2010), Axa 6667 (down from 7334), Churchill 10,459 (up from 9949), Hiscox 591 (up from 551), Norwich and Peterborough Building Society 2553 (up from 2301), NFU Mutual 2422 (up from 1931), Royal and Sun Alliance 8785 (up from 8337) and Swinton 1176 (down from 1429).

Barclays said it had cut the number of complaints directly related to banking and that much of the rise was due to PPI complaints.

Retail banking boss Antony Jenkins said: 'We have made good progress in reducing complaints, with a substantial and sustainable reduction in banking complaints by nearly a third. However, there is much more to be done and we are working hard to further improve our service to our customers.'

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The total number of PPI complaints surged by 23pc to 531,667. And officials made clear that responsibility and therefore complaints regarding mis-selling of PPI rested with the seller of the products. So for many financial institutions, PPI does not impact on complaints figures.

An Aviva spokesman said: 'We recognise that sometimes things are not as the customer expected or we get it wrong.

'We would like to reassure our customers that we take all complaints very seriously and aim to resolve these as quickly as possible.

'However with respect to the number of complaints we receive this needs to be seen in context - we are the UK's largest insurer with over 19m customers and the complaints we receive represent less than 0.2pc of those customers.'