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NATALIE CEENEY INTERVIEW: Queen Of The Complainers

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By Daily Mail Reporter

Published: 18:02 EDT, 22 May 2012 | Updated: 18:04 EDT, 22 May 2012

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A record number of bank customers complained about rip-offs, bad advice and poor service last year.

The Financial Ombudsman Service was inundated with 5,000 inquiries a day in 2011-12 – a total of 1.2million.

The watchdog investigated 264,375 complaints, up 28 per cent on the previous year.

Even more pressure: British household finances are already under greatest strain in living memory

Even more pressure: British household finances are already under greatest strain in living memory

And the FOS awarded compensation to two out of three consumers who pursued a case.

Mis-selling of payment protection insurance was the single biggest cause of complaints.

The expensive policies were sold to millions who would never be able to make a claim, including pensioners, the disabled and seasonal workers.

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And some victims have suffered a second time with the emergence of claims management firms trying to cash in on the scandal.

They often charge huge fees to pursue PPI complaints, despite the fact individuals can do so themselves for free.

Chief ombudsman Natalie Ceeney said: ‘This year has been a struggle for many consumers who have found themselves burdened by debt, besieged by claims companies and bewildered by the complexity of financial services.’

Cause for complaint: The FSO have been inundated with inquiries from bank customers unhappy with their level of service

Cause for complaint: The FSO have been inundated with inquiries from bank customers unhappy with their level of service

Sarah Brooks, director of financial services at the official customer body Consumer Focus, said: ‘A record increase in complaints to the ombudsman and the high number of upholds show consumers clearly need improvements in how they are being treated by banks and insurers.

‘Customer service and complaints handling must be improved so that banks deal fairly with complaints rather than obliging their customers to go to the Ombudsman.

‘In the absence of a properly competitive market in retail banking we will need the government and regulators to keep up the pressure for simpler  products and to clamp down hard on unacceptable behaviour.

‘PPI continues to be a thorn in the side of this industry. With all that has happened, consumers shouldn’t need to take their PPI claim to the Ombudsman to get their money back.

'Banks now need to wipe the slate clean by dealing with any claims and compensation payments quickly, efficiently and fairly.’ 


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Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2148371/Complaints-banks-soar-record-high-1-2m-5-000-inquiries-day.html

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