Barclays tops banking complaints list

The bank got the most complaints out of any of its high street rivals this year - although there are indications they're learning...

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 22 Feb 2012
It’s that time of year again: the time when the financially astute are sorted from, well, a bunch of bankers. Yep - it’s banking complaints figures time, and our financial overlords haven’t let us down. Barclays tops the banking vice list this year, with 251,563 complaints in the first six months of the year, 53% of which were upheld in customers’ favour, according to figures by the Financial Services Authority. Other high street brands weren’t far behind, mind - with Lloyds TSB receiving 181,907 complaints, Santander receiving 168,888 complaints and NatWest getting 147,109.

The figures showed that nearly 10,000 complaints about financial institutions were filed every day during the first six months of the year - a total of 1.85m. Although, to be fair to Barclays, it pointed out that since this time last year, it’s managed to cut complaints by 14%. And the number of complaints were totted up by brand, rather than parent company. In fact, with all its subsidiaries (Lloyds, Halifax, Bank of Scotland) added together, it was actually Lloyds Banking Group that received the most complaints.

While Santander was in the top three for the number of complaints it received, it was also the best of the major brands at dealing with them: the Spanish bank managed to close 90% of cases within eight weeks. RBS, on the other hand, was less impressive, with just 74% of cases dealt with in that timeframe. Lloyds was the next-worst, with 77%, while Natwest, Barclays and HSBC were are 86%, 88% and 89% respectively.

It’ll be interesting to see what the figures are like next year. After all, the majority of complaints were about the mis-selling of payment protection insurance, which is supposed to cover borrowers’ repayments if they die, lose their jobs or fall ill. Indeed: earlier this year, the FSA ordered banks to pay compensation to thousands of customers who they were deemed to have mis-sold PPI to. Complaints about actual banking - rather than insurance, etc - dropped by 22%, compared to the same period a year earlier.

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