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Lloyds takes top spot: highlights from the FOS complaints list

Lloyds has toppped the FOS complaints table for the fist six months of 2014, with Hargreaves Lansdown make its first appearance.   

Lloyds, Pru and Sesame top FOS list

Lloyds Banking Group has topped the Financial Ombudsman Service list of most complained about businesses for the first half of 2014, as the total number of complaints the ombudsman received fell by 20%.

This is Lloyds Banking Group’s fourth consecutive time at the top of the list. The group, which includes the Halifax, Lloyds TSB and Bank of Scotland brands, received 62,132 complaints, down 27% from 85,379 complaints.

Barclays followed Lloyds to make second place with 27,487 complaints, followed by the Royal Bank of Scotland in third with 13,654 and HSBC in fourth with 13,240.

The figures published today showed that the ombudsman took on 191,129 new cases in total in the first half of 2014. This is a 20% fall from the 248,801 that it received in the last six months of 2013.

Prudential was the most complained about life company with 330 complaints, with 17% being upheld in favour of the consumer. This was followed by Phoenix Life and Aviva with 327 and 230 complaints respectively.

The UK’s largest adviser network Sesame was the most complained about advice firm with 197 complaints, down 8% from 213 in the previous period. It saw 26% of consumer complaints upheld by the FOS.

Chief ombudsman Caroline Wayman, said that while PPI is still a major part of the ombudsman’s workload there was a ‘marked change’ in the type of complaints consumers were asking the FOS to resolve.

‘During the first half of 2014 there’s been a marked change in the type of complaints consumers are asking us to resolve – as underlying attitudes become more entrenched and the issues involved get more complex,' she said.

Click through for more details on the main offenders from banks, life companies and advice firms.

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Barclays

Barclays took second place on the list of most complained about business groups.

The group received 27,487 claims, a 26% fall from 37,030 in the last six months of 2013.

Barclays Bank was the third most complained about individual business, receiving 26,955 complaints, a 26% drop from the last six month period. The number of complaints the FOS upheld also dropped from 77% to 66%.

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Royal Bank of Scotland

The Royal Bank of Scotland and subsidiary NatWest came in at third after facing a combined 13,654 complaints.

NatWest faced 7,211 complaints and an uphold rate of 40%, while RBS received 6,072 complaints, 38% of which were upheld.

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HSBC

The FOS received 13,240 complaints against the HSBC group, down 19% from July to December 2013.

HSBC Bank also saw a 19% reduction in claims from 15,286 to 12,429. Its uphold rate, however, was 78%.

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Santander

Santander UK made the FOS list as the fifth most complained about business group.

Santander UK saw the number of complaints it received drop 9% to 8,569 from the 9,400 it received over July to December 2013.

Click through to read more about the top 5 most complained about life companies

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The Prudential Assurance Company

Prudential topped the list of life companies who faced FOS complaints over the six months of 2014.

Prudential had 330 new cases against it taken to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) in the last six months of 2013, which is a small increase from the 323 it had in the previous period.

The FOS also found 17% of the cases in favour of the consumer.

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Phoenix Life

Second up in the life and pensions category is Phoenix Life, with 327 complaints.

Like Prudential, Phoenix saw a slight improvement from the second half of 2013 when the FOS received 322 complaints against Phoenix.

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Aviva Life & Pensions

Aviva received the third highest number of FOS complaints against life companies.

It had 230 new FOS cases against it in the first six months of 2014 and had an uphold rate of 23%.

This is an 11% fall in complaints from 259 complaints it received in the last half of 2013.

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Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (UK)

Sun Life was the fifth most complained about life company but received the highest uphold rate in the top five, as 27% of its 175 complaints were found in favour of the consumer.

The number of complaints the FOS received on Sun Life dropped slightly from 178 in the second half of 2013.

Click through to read more about the most complained about advice firms.

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Sesame

With a total of 197 cases, Sesame topped the list for advice firms that faced FOS claims in the first half of 2014.

This is an 8% fall from the 213 complaints it faced in the second half of 2013.

Sesame, whose chairman is John Cowan (pictured) has also maintained a steady uphold rate since the last figures were released of 26%.

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Openwork

Openwork was the third most complained about advice firm in the first half of 2014.

Openwork, whose chief executive is Mary-Anne McIntyre (pictured) faced 73 complaints in the first six months of 2014, a 28% drop from the previous period.

The FOS upheld 21% of the cases it received on Openwork.

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Personal Touch Financial Services

Personal Touch saw 55 claims go to the FOS in the first six months of 2014, landing it in fourth place among the advice firms.

This was a 29% drop from the last six months of 2013. Despite the drop in complaints on Personal Touch, whose chief executive is Max Wright (pictured), the ombudsman upheld 29% of complaints, up from the 13% it upheld in the previous period.

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Hargreaves Lansdown Asset Management

Hargreaves Lansdown made it to the top five most complained about advice firms with 48 complaints, 17% of which the FOS upheld.

As this is Hargreaves's, whose co-founder is Peter Hargreaves (pictured) first appearance on the list it has no comparative data.

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