The FOS has analysed its Covid-19 related complaints to highlight the impact that the pandemic has had on a wide range of financial issues for consumers and small businesses.
The ombudsman has already received more complaints from small businesses this year than it received in the whole of the last financial year. The increase was driven largely by complaints about business interruption insurance and Covid-19 related loan schemes.
Almost a quarter of the complaints were from customers who have had travel plans disrupted but had travel insurance claims declined by the insurer.
The ombudsman also received about 200 complaints about claims to banks made under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 from consumers who want their money refunded by their credit provider for cancelled holidays, sport fixtures and concerts that either were cancelled or have been cancelled.
Caroline Wayman, chief ombudsman and chief executive of the Financial Ombudsman Service, said: “Covid-19 has had a huge impact on virtually all elements of our lives, including our finances. Since measures to control the virus in the UK were put in place, we’ve been hearing from people who aren’t happy with how their financial provider has treated them.
“We also know that financial businesses themselves have been impacted in their ability to process claims and complaints, and we’ve seen that many have adapted well. However, some financial businesses must continue to do more to ensure they are treating their customers fairly. If anyone isn’t happy with how their complaint about a financial provider has been dealt with, they can come to our service and we’ll see if we can help.”
The ombudsman also released its quarterly complaints data. New complaints were down 19% and referrals were 38% lower than in the same period last year. However, the complaint uphold rate was up 2% from last year at 32%. The most complained about product continued to be PPI, and home credit saw the highest complaint uphold rate.