Credit card complaints ‘on the increase’

Complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service about credit cards, mortgages and consumer debt all rose during the 2008-09 financial year.

A 34 per cent increase in grievances linked to these areas was observed by the watchdog, in addition to an 84 per cent rise in insurance disputes.

In total, a record 127,471 complaints were received throughout the period, along with 789,877 enquiries.

The ombudsman resolved 113,949 disputes, with 57 per cent of cases ending with consumers receiving compensation.

Service chairman Sir Christopher Kelly suggested his organisation is expecting complaint levels to remain high over the next few months.

“As businesses tighten their belts – and the credit crunch leads to increased financial difficulty for many consumers – we are gearing up to deal with further volatility in complaint volumes,” he said.

When it published its consultation for its proposed annual budget in January, the ombudsman predicted that 2009-10 could set another record for complaint numbers.

By Chris Trimble

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