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Lloyds tops list of complaints against high street banks

LLOYDS Banking Group has emerged as the major UK bank with the highest level of successful complaints made about it by consumers in the first half of the year, according to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).<br /><br />FOS data reveals that 81 per cent of cases settled in the six months to 30 June involving Lloyds were resolved in favour of the customer, while 6,947 new cases arose during the period.<br /><br />Taking into account Bank of Scotland, Cheltenham &amp; Gloucester and a host of smaller brands, the group saw 15,233 complaints, 22 per cent of the industry total.<br /><br />Barclays had the highest level of new complaints at 8,283, and also lost 71 per cent of case settlements.<br /><br />Of the &ldquo;big five&rdquo; high street banks, HSBC fared best, with just 60 per cent of complainants winning their case, while the bank received just 2,177 new grievances.<br /><br />It is the first time the FOS has published details of complaints and the data immediately revealed that the majority of claims against banks were successful, at 59 per cent, while complaints against insurers were successful 70 per cent of the time.<br /><br />&ldquo;Putting this information into the open will give those worse-performing businesses vital encouragement to improve,&rdquo; said Walter Merricks, outgoing chief ombudsman.<br /><br />The Association of British Insurers acknowledged that insurers needed to improve complaint handling methods but said the way the FOS compiled the data could &ldquo;mislead consumers about the performance of individual firms&rdquo;.<br />