The number of complaints for the mis-selling of PPI has shot up to its highest level in more than four years according to new figures from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
PPI remains the most complained about product with 1.72 million new claims in the last six months, amounting to 42% of the total received. The next most complained about products were current accounts (15%), credit cards (8%) and motor insurance (6%)
The spike in PPI complaints has been attributed to the Arnie Schwarzenegger consumer awareness campaign for the claims deadline on August 29th next year.
The FCA says the first year of the campaign has produced ‘a clear increase’ in the number of claims being made.
In a statement the regulator said the campaign had generated a 40% increase in the volume of complaints over pre-campaign levels.
A total of 3.7 million new claims have been made since the campaign was launched last year, which is a 63% increase over the previous 10 months.
The level of payouts for successful claims continues to increase at an average £1/3 billion per month with the overall compensation figure since January 2011 now standing at £32.6 billion.
Royal Bank Of Scotland (RBS) is the only one of the high street banks to increase its PPI compensation pot in the third quarter of the year, but the remainder have all admitted in recent reports that they are monitoring the level of claims carefully and are prepared to set more money aside if needed.
The regulator said several high profile disruptions to online banking earlier in the year had also generated a significant number of complaints.
The report said: “Around half of the increase in other complaints excluding PPI was due to complaints about TSB made by banking and credit card customers following TSB’s move to a new IT platform.”
An estimated 1.9 million customers were locked out of their accounts, some for several weeks, resulting in thousands of customers switching their accounts away from the bank.
The IT meltdown is said to have cost TSB £176.4 million and led to the resignation of its chief executive, Paul Pester, after he received a no confidence vote from the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee.
FCA Executive Director of Strategy and Competition, Christopher Woolard, said: “Firms need to be doing all that they can to reduce complaints. It is clear that firms need to look at the cause of the rise in complaints and address these issues to prevent further increases.
“It should be a priority for firms to ensure good consumer outcomes are achieved and they should be making sure that they are taking the right steps to treat customers fairly.
“We are encouraged to see that figures are showing that more consumers are making a decision on whether to complain about PPI”