Current accounts spark 514,000 complaints

Current accounts were the second most complained about product in the latter half of 2016, the FCA has revealed.

The regulator published that more than three million complaints were reported by firms in H2 2016, which it said was higher than previous reporting periods due to new rules introduced on 30th June 2016 requiring all complaints to be captured in the data.

Although payment protection insurance (PPI) topped the list with 895,000 cases, firms reported that there were 514,000 complaints regarding current accounts in the same period.

Tiffany Carpenter, head of customer intelligence at analytics specialist SAS UK & Ireland, said the increase in complaints would come as a wake-up call for UK banks.

“Low interest rates are suppressing margins, new competition is chipping away at the profitability of banks and compliance pressures are dominating the agenda,” Tiffany explained.

“All of which is impacting banks and their ability to invest in the large infrastructures and complex processes traditionally at the heart of customer engagement strategies.

“Competition within the banking industry is set to become even tougher, but if exploited properly, new technology can make banks better placed to gain critical insight into customer needs and protect the day-to-day reputation of their business.”

Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, added: “Consumers want a simple way to complain that does not leave them out of pocket.

“And they want to be assured that their concerns will be dealt with fairly and quickly.

“These data will provide us with improved intelligence on complaints, including new detailed data to show where industry is potentially failing consumers at product level.”

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