Are the banks getting it right on PPI complaints?

Banks are busy with PPI complaints

In this article we take a look at how well the industry is handling PPI complaints. You may find this useful before making a PPI claim with various firms. We’ve obtained this data from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). It covers the first half of 2016 (the most recent data available at the time of writing).

The “Worst” Performing Firms for PPI Complaints

This first chart shows the firms which have the worst scores in terms of the percentage of PPI complaints they get wrong. We have only shown firms where half or more of complaints which go to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) are upheld.  That’s simply to make the graph a bit more readable.


What exactly is this data?

This information is from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). So it covers PPI complaints which have already been raised and handled by financial firms. Consumers (or their claims management companies) have then escalated these to the FOS because they are not happy with the outcome. The numbers above and in the chart below are the percentage of cases the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) decides they got wrong.

Bear in mind that “getting it wrong” is any time the ombudsman has changed the compensation awarded. It might be a little or a lot. Or a lot or it could be completely overturning the financial firm’s decision.

What does it not show?

This does not tell us anything about how many times:

  1. the various firms get it right and consumers are happy or
  2. how many claims firms reject which are not then taken to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

For many firms, the number of cases which go to the FOS is small compared to how many they are handling. Of course, for the consumers affected, that’s of little comfort!

It also doesn’t tell us anything about why financial firms are rejecting (or underpaying).

Does this mean what I think it means?

If you think it means that the worst performing company got 98% of complaints escalated to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) wrong, then yes, it does mean what you think.

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) reported data for sixty-three companies altogether. There were some others but they did not deal with enough complaints to appear in the data. The chart above shows the worst 28 firms.

So, the rest are better. In the spirit of being balanced, here are the best ten for January – June 2016.


Well done to these firms who get it right most of the time. We noticed a lot of building societies in this best ten firms. We can only guess why this is.

  • In general they are not handling so many claims – so perhaps its easier to spend a bit more time on each one.
  • Their cases could be somehow simpler (although we’re not sure how).
  • Perhaps they are making more of an effort to treat their customers fairly – we don’t know.

There’s certainly a big difference between the firms having to deal with the highest number of complaints and the rest. The final chart shows how many new PPI cases the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) received per firm in the first half of the year. Again, we have just shown the top ten for clarity. This gives some indication of which firms are busiest.

Well done to Nationwide for being busy but also (in this months at least) getting the vast majority of its PPI complaints right first time.



Bearing in mind what we said earlier about what this data does and does not show, it’s difficult to draw any really safe conclusions.

But we’ll make observations which you can take with a pinch of salt if you want…

  • Complaining about PPI is not necessarily as straightforward as some would like you to believe. You might need to go to the ombudsman to get satisfaction.
  • For some firms this would appear to be much more likely than for others – so it might be worth preparing yourself for the long haul!
  • With this level of incorrect complaint handling, in our opinion it’s wrong to:-

– have a six month time limit for consumers to go to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

– introduce a deadline for PPI claims as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has stated that they want to happen.

We’re not saying that consumers should not do PPI claims themselves. It’s the right choice for some and we hope this and other articles arm you with information so you can decide what’s right for you. The figures do show that some firms are doing a good job.

If you would like some help with your PPI claim please fill out the form on the right (you’ll need to scroll up). It’s below if you’re on a smartphone/tablet. We offer a competitively priced service (15% + VAT (18% total)) on a no win, no fee* basis with no upfront costs. You can compare our fees to some other companies here.

Data sourced from:

image credit:anonymous, Negative Space