Barclays, Lloyds, Bank of Scotland and HSBC top list of Britain's most complained about banks

 
Jasper Jolly
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Banks have been forced to report all complaints made for the first time (Source: Getty)

Barclays has topped the charts as Britain’s most complained about bank, according to the regulators tasked with supervising UK lenders.

More than 438,000 complaints about Barclays were made in the final six months of 2016, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has revealed – at an exhausting rate of more than 2,300 every single day.

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Barclays received 47 per cent more complaints than the next worst bank, and was responsible for 28 per cent of the entirety of complaints made in the six months.

Frustrated customers made Lloyds the second worst performer, with more than 297,000 complaints, while Bank of Scotland (BoS, which is also owned by Lloyds) received more than 267,000, making it the most complained-about banking group.

Private bank Coutts, which counts the Queen amongst its clients, and challenger bank Secure Trust were the most complained-about banks relative to the number of customer accounts they hold.

Banks were forced by the FCA to report all complaints made for the first time. Previously complaints resolved within three days did not have to be resolved.

A Barclays spokesperson said: “We’ve been working hard to get our banking complaints down and are no longer the most complained about banking group, but we know we still have more to do.”

Find your bank in the table below.

Banking and credit cards

Of the total complaints about Barclays more than half concerned banking products and credit cards.

The makers of Britain’s first credit card 50 years ago saw more complaints for its banking and credit cards than the grand total of complaints for every other bank barring Lloyds and BoS.

HSBC was the second worst in the banking and credit card stakes, followed by Lloyds.

Insurance

However, insurance was actually the most complained about segment, with the infamous payment protection insurance (PPI) the worst offender when it came to individual products.

But it was Barclays who topped the charts yet again, with 160,650 complaints, followed by Lloyds and Bank of Scotland.

In fourth place was an unlikely appearance for British Gas. The firm, usually known as an energy utility, received 75,000 complaints about the insurance products it offers its customers.

Home finance

Bank of Scotland topped the table for complaints about mortgage lending, with almost 22,000 angry customers.

HSBC was the second worst offender for home finance, with 14,000 complaints.

A special mention for Prudential

Despite being only the 32nd most complained about firm, Prudential Assurance Company managed to top the table for the most complaints in both the investments category and the decumulation and pensions category.

And finally, Britain’s best finance firm (kind of) is…

Vehicle insurance firm Volkswagen Financial Services (UK) Limited received the fewest complaints of all the FCA-regulated firms.

It received 505 complaints for its insurance products – but doesn’t compete with the majors in any other areas.

Here are the 20 worst offenders (with the top bank in each category in bold if included).

Lender Banking / credit cards Pensions Home finance Insurance Investments Total
1 Barclays Bank 263781 210 8861 160650 4735 438237
2 Lloyds Bank 151567 168 5500 138391 1522 297148
3 Bank of Scotland 134296 55 21776 109288 1822 267237
4 HSBC Bank 163473 76 14090 45712 1668 225019
5 NatWest 133007 56 4699 36369 397 174528
6 Santander UK 115286 67 9755 22279 4009 151396
7 MBNA 30157 0 0 72095 0 102252
8 British Gas Services 0 0 0 75008 0 75008
9 Royal Bank of Scotland 47058 24 2507 23857 158 73604
10 Aviva Insurance 0 0 0 64112 0 64112
11 Direct Line – UK Insurance 0 0 0 62310 0 62310
12 Capital One 5254 0 0 53769 0 59023
13 Santander Cards UK 647 0 0 43231 0 43878
14 Nationwide 22757 325 6166 12798 142 42188
15 Clydesdale Bank 10712 49 1212 24775 80 36828
16 Swinton Group 0 0 0 35597 1 35598
17 TSB Bank 29361 0 2260 165 0 31786
18 M&S Financial Services 14798 0 0 13445 0 28243
19 Co-operative Bank 18783 7 2138 4288 63 25279
20 BUPA Insurance Services 0 0 0 24545 0 24545
32 Prudential Assurance 0 7993 97 881 4963 13934

Clydesdale, Tesco and Nationwide reported complaints for a different period

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