In its latest annual report, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has revealed that complaints about payment protection insurance (PPI) accounted for some 30% of new cases, in the year to the end of March 2010.
The watchdog dealt with 49,196 PPI complaints, compared with 31,066 over the previous twelve month period and while a small proportion of cases related to PPI claims, the vast majority involved complaints about the sale of PPI.
According to the FOS, a high volume of cases resulted from single premium policies where the cost of insurance is included in the loan, a practice which was banned by the Financial Services Authority last year.
New cases involving current accounts took second place in the FOS workload with a score of 15.5%, followed by credit cards at 11%.
Cases involving disgruntled current account holders numbered 25,252, having almost doubled year-on-year, whereas complaints about credit cards were down slightly, to 18,396.
The FOS observes “we have received a growing number of complaints from consumers who tell us that their current-account problems relate to financial hardship they are experiencing”.
With regard to credit card complaints the report states: “A substantial number of these cases involved disputes relating to section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 – under which the credit-card provider can be jointly liable with the supplier of the goods or services, if a consumer has a valid claim for misrepresentation or breach of contract.”
In total, the FOS resolved 166,321 disputes in the period covered by the report and consumers were compensated in around 50% of cases.