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Double trouble: a breakdown of the FOS's bumper complaints list

Complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service have doubled in the space of six months. Here we break down exactly who received the most complaints and why.

Lloyds Banking Group

Lloyds Banking Group, including Lloyds TSB, Bank of Scotland, and Black Horse, came in as the most complained about business group with a total of 93,454 cases.

Lloyds TSB was also the most complained about individual bank with 45,727 complaints, up 274% from 12,235 for the first six months of 2012. Bank of Scotland came in third, after Barclays, with 39,375 complaints and Black Horse was eleventh on the list with 6,133 cases.


There was goodish news for Barclays Bank which was beaten to the top spot as the most complained about individual business with the dubious honour instead going to Lloyds TSB.

Barclays received 45,532 cases, with 38,122 of those relating to payment protection insurance (PPI).

Barclays also saw 377 investment complaints and 220 life and pension complaints.

The majority of PPI complainants had their complaints upheld, with 77% PPI cases resolved in favour of the consumer.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group

The Royal Bank of Scotland and subsidiary NatWest faced a combined 17,125 complaints with 44% and 45% upheld in favour of the consumer respectively.


The FOS received 16,573 complaints against HSBC, 13,156 of these again related to PPI.

HSBC also saw 180 investment complaints and 96 on life, pensions and decumulation.


Santander slipped down the list despite complaints against the bank going up by 87% from the first of 2012 to 10,753 complaints.

It, like the aforementioned banks, received the large chunk of its complaints (4,523 to be precise), in relation to PPI.

Nationwide Building Society

Nationwide was in the top 10 firms with the most FOS complaints but fared well in defending itself. The FOS upheld only 23% of the 9,928 complaints lodged against it.

It received almost 8,668 complaints on PPI, but only 25% of them were resolved in favour of the consumer.


Away from the banks, building societies, and inevitable stench of PPI and onto the life companies…

Aviva Life & Pensions was the most complained about life company on the FOS list.

It received 616 complaints in total, with 443 of the cases in life, pensions and decumulation, although only 21% of all these complaints were upheld by the FOS.

Phoenix Life

Closed life company Phoenix Group also had a high number of life, pensions and decumulation complaints at 488 out of its 620 total cases.


Prudential had 465 complaints reported to the FOS with 354 of these relating to life, pensions and decumulation. Forty consumers also complained about investments.

The FOS upheld 17% of all the complaints against Prudential and 18% of life, pensions and decumulation complaints.

Legal & General

Another life company with a number of life, pension and decumulation complaints filed to the FOS, Legal & General Assurance Society received 425 gripes.

Of these, 239 complaints related to life, pensions and decumulation products but 77% of these were found in its favour.

Standard Life

Standard Life also had a high proportion of life, pension and decumulation complaints filed against it. Out of 200 complaints filed to the FOS, 18% were upheld.

Friends Life

Friends Life had 551 complaints overall. Of these 403 cases related to life, pensions, and decumulation products.

It also received 38 complaints related to investments.

Scottish Widows

Lloyds-owned Scottish Widows faced 179 FOS complaints, with 111 related to life, pensions and decumulation, 26 over investment, and 39 related to general insurance.


The FOS received 83 complaints in total against the provider of which 14 related to general insurance, seven on investments and 62 on life, pensions and decumulation.


Unsurpirsingly for the UK's largest network, Sesame was the most complained about advice group on the FOS list with 263 complaints filed, up from 138 for the first half of 2012.The largest number of of complainst against the network, headed by George Higginson (pictured), related to life pensions and decumulation, at 73. A further 69 complaints related to PPI and 73 to life, pensions and decumulation.


Zurich-owned network Openwork had 132 complaints against it go the FOS, up from 100 in the first half of 2012. It had 33 complaints on PPI, 24 on investments, and 22 on pension, life and decumulation. Overall, the FOS upheld 29% of clients' complaints against the network, headed by Mary-Anne McIntyre (pictured).

St James’s Place Wealth Management

Restricted network St James’s Place, headed by chief executive David Bellamy, had 89 complaints, nearly double the 47 received in the first six months of 2012. Of these only 24% were upheld. There were 32 investment complaints, 27 on life, pensions and decumulation and seven on mortgages and home finance.

Positive Solutions

Another advisory firm to make the FOS list of complaints was Aegon-owed national Positive Solutions.

PosSol, headed by chief executive Peter Coleman (picctured) had 77 cases made against it, 28 of those on investments and 17 on life, pensions and decumulation. Around half of the cases were found in favour of complainants.

Personal Touch Financial Services

Around 23% of 68 complaints made against network Personal Touch Financial Services were upheld. The FOS received 22 complaints on mortgages and finance, 33 on PPI and two on investments.