Five charts showing the UK’s most complained-about banks

Tom Rees
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Brits have complained about their banks in huge numbers (Source: Getty)

Barclays is officially the UK’s most complained about bank, beating its high street competitors by more than 140,000 complaints.

Barclays admitted that “we still have more to do” in terms of reducing complaints but pointed out that it wasn’t the most complained about banking group in the country with Lloyds Group, whose banks took the second and third spots on the list, receiving a total of 564,385 complaints in its Lloyds and Bank of Scotland divisions.

1. Here are the worst offenders

The statistics mean that Barclays received around 2,400 complaints a day whilst the two major Lloyds Group banks had just over 3,000 a day.

Read more: This is Britain's worst bank

2. Lloyds Group is getting better (slowly)

Whilst the two major divisions within Lloyds Group have seen their complaint figures slowly fall since the beginning of 2014, Barclays received just under 10,000 more complaints in the first half of 2016 compared to two years before. HSBC and Natwest have both seen modest drops since 2014.

3. HSBC takes its sweet time to respond

Out of the five banks with the most complaints in the first half of 2016, HSBC resolved complaints the slowest with just 82 per cent resolved within eight weeks.

The two Lloyds Group banks had the best rates among the five most complained-about banks. Of the other major high street banks, RBS and Santander resolved 94 per cent and 98 per cent of their complaints within eight weeks, respectively.

4. Complaints were falling (until the rules changed)

The complaints data was the first published by the FCA since it introduced new rules that mean that all complaints now have to be logged in the official statistics. The changes made complaints surge to 3.04m in the second half of 2016.

Under the new rules, financial services companies now have longer to resolve complaints less formally. “Firms now have three days to address a complaint to a consumer’s satisfaction. This is up from the previous next business day time limit,” explained the FCA.

According to the FCA, in the second half of last year the percentage of complaints resolved within eight weeks rose to an average of 97 per cent compared to 93 per cent in the first half when the old reporting rules were still in place.

5. Still not peak PPI?

PPI is still the most complained about product according to the new data. Insurance complaints increased to just under 1.6m in the last six months of 2016 and could rise further after the FCA set August 2019 as the final deadline for making a new PPI complaint.

The regulator will run a two-year consumer communications campaign from this August and its chief executive Andrew Bailey believes that the measures will prompt consumers “to take action rather than put it off”.

Excluding PPI, which accounted for 29% of all reported complaints, the total numbers of complaints to banks during the second half of 2016 was 2.15m.

Read more: It's official: This is the deadline if you want to make a PPI complaint

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