The FCA has published details of complaints made to financial institutions for the second half of 2012.
The data shows that there were 3.5m complaints between July and December 2012, an increase of 1% from the previous six months.
The majority of complaints were directed at the UK’s big banks.
Barclays topped the list with just over 400,000 complaints.
Lloyds TSB Bank, Bank of Scotland, MBNA Limited and Santander UK made up the rest of the top five.
The FCA reported the top five most complained about financial products are:
- Payment protection insurance, the largest with 2,170,000 complaints;
- Current accounts;
- Other general insurance products (excluding PPI), and
- Credit cards and savings.
Martin Wheatley, chief executive, FCA said: "The bosses of the financial institutions they frequently tell me that they don’t want to be at the top of the table, which means they strive to improve both their sales and complaints handling processes. Not only does our data help consumers compare and contrast their current bank or lender, but it also boosts competition among firms too."
In addition to the FCA complaints data, Which? have published their first survey into banking complaints.
The Which? survey concluded that a fifth (22%) of complaints about current accounts were not dealt with satisfactorily by banks.
Two thirds of the 2,029 people who were surveyed complained to their bank regarding their current account, with three in ten of them having to complain more than once before the issue was resolved. However, half of customer complaints were resolved on the same day or day after the initial contact.
The survey found that around 26% of customers surveyed have had problems with their current account; this number is equivalent to 12m people.
Which?’s survey found that Bank of Scotland, Barclays and Co-operative Bank had the highest number of complaints, where as First Direct and Nationwide had the least.
Moreover, of those who didn’t complain nearly one in five said they didn’t think their bank could solve their problem and a quarter did not wish to telephone their bank and incur the cost of dialling an expensive number.
Richard Lloyd, executive director, Which? said: "When things go wrong it is critical that banks act swiftly and fairly to deal with the problem, identify what caused it and make sure it’s not repeated."
Paul Willis, associate director, within the risk and regulation practice at Navigant comments on the FCA data: "These sets of results are particularly interesting as they cover a period when the industry has seen enormous regulatory pressures to improve complaints handling. Certainly, the industry has made significant improvements over the last few years to meet these obligations and the changing demands of handling cases of dispute. Unfortunately the development of complaint handling models is still a long way off for many firms. Organisations can take steps to alleviate related issues by aligning complaint handling activities to customer feedback; undertaking better root cause analysis to identify base failing and enact improvements."