Lloyds leads banks complaints list

It has been reported that Lloyds Banking Group had the highest level of banks complaints compared to all other high street banks last year.

lloyds_banking_group_logoLloyds Banking Group was the high street bank with the highest level of banks complaints in the second part of last year.

In the first half of 2010, it was reported that Lloyds accounted for more complaints than Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays put together.

In its latest report, the Financial Ombudsman Service reveals that across the group new complaints totalled 22,181 for the second half of 2010, compared to 22,420 banks complaints between January and June last year. Overall the number of complaints received by Lloyds increased 14 per cent to 329,761 in the second half of last year.

Under new rules by the Financial Services Authority, banks have to publish their complaint figures twice a year. It has emerged that the number of complaints received by Lloyds Banking Group may be directly related to payment protection insurance (PPI) complaints which jumped by almost 70 per cent in the second half of last year.

PPI covers personal loan repayments if the borrower loses their job through illness or redundancy but banks have been accused of selling these at overinflated prices to borrowers who may not have needed it.

So far more than 1m customers have complained about the product and banks have been banned from selling the cover at the same time as loans.

Going forward, Martin Dodd, customer services director at Lloyds Banking Group, said the bank had taken action to speed up the handling of complaints and give customers a direct contact for ongoing grievances. In an effort to reverse the trend, 40,000 staff have been retrained to deal with complaints more effectively and lined up experts to handle more complex issues.

Of course, Lloyds is not the only bank to have high volumes of complaints (see table below). Among others, Barclays and HSBC show considerable numbers of complaints, and it is a clear focus for these major banks to reduce these numbers as soon as possible.

Santander RBS Group Barclays HSBC
RBS Natwest
Total Complaints 7,479 3,286 3,760 8,256 8,238
% Cases upheld 39% 60% 52% 56% 27%

Santander had the greatest proportion of complaints in the first half of last year, while Lloyds received the highest overall number due to its large customer base. The big high street banks must publish data for the second half on their websites by the end of this month.

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