skip tocontent

frequently-asked questions

This section gives the answers to frequently-asked questions (FAQs) about:

complaints data – showing individual financial businesses

where can I find the ombudsman service's complaints data about named individual businesses?

Our complaints data shows both good and bad complaints handling by the 150 or so financial businesses that together account for around 90% of the ombudsman service's workload. The data is available for anyone to download from our website.

The data is in tables that you can search in various ways including:

  • alphabetically by the name of the business; or
  • by the number of new complaints referred to us; or
  • by the percentage of complaints we upheld in favour of consumers.

which financial businesses are top and bottom of the complaints table?

You can look for yourself on our website - to see which businesses had most or least complaints referred to the ombudsman. Don't forget that larger businesses may get more complaints because of their size.

You can also look for yourself to see the percentage of complaints we upheld in favour of consumers - in relation to each of the businesses included in the data.

We publish this complaints data every six months. So you will be able to look at the latest data as well as information relating to previous periods.

the complaints table shows only 30% of complaints are upheld against the business I'm unhappy with - does this mean it's not worth bothering with a complaint?

We decide each complaint entirely on its own particular facts and merits. If you're unhappy with how a business has handled a complaint, it's your right to bring the case to the ombudsman service. The percentage of complaints we upheld in the last six months - or in any previous period - is not an automatic indicator of how likely you are to win or lose. Previous uphold rates do not form part of the decision we make on any individual case.

the complaints table shows that 70% of complaints are upheld against the business I'm unhappy with - does this mean I should complain?

The percentages we publish - showing the proportion of complaints we resolved in favour of consumers - are not the "odds" on whether we'll uphold your complaint or not. So this figure doesn't mean you have an 70% chance of winning your case.

These percentages are simply a snapshot of what happened in a previous six-month period. We decide each case entirely on its own particular facts and merits. Previous uphold rates do not form part of the decision we make on any individual case.

why can't I find the name I'm looking for in the table?

If you can't find a name, it will be for one of two reasons:

  1. The complaints data is recorded under the official name by which the businesses are regulated - not under different brand names or trading names (which consumers may be far more familiar with). You can check the name you're looking for to find any related name under which complaints data might be listed.
  2. The business you're looking for had fewer than 30 new cases referred to the ombudsman in the relevant period (and fewer than 30 cases resolved by the ombudsman service in this period). Businesses with fewer than 30 cases account for only 10% of our total workload - so the complaints data focuses on the 150 or so businesses that have the greatest impact on us (accounting for around 90% of our workload).

what does the data in the complaints table tell me?

The data available on our website is about how financial businesses handled consumer complaints. It shows how many complaints the ombudsman service received – in the relevant six-month period – in relation to each of the 150 or so businesses that together make up around 90% of our workload.

The data breaks down the total figure for each individual business into the six FCA product-groups – such as banking & credit and general insurance. Payment protection insurance (PPI) is included from 2011 onwards. For previous periods, there are only five product groups

The data also shows the percentage of complaints we resolved in favour of consumers in the relevant six-month period – giving a total figure for each of the businesses, similarly broken down into the six FCA product groups.

will the ombudsman be providing any analysis of the data?

We are making this data available in the spirit of openness. Our board doesn't believe that this information should be kept secret from people. But we are not able to explain or interpret what any individual figures or trends may mean. And different people may want to understand them in different ways.

why does the ombudsman publish this data?

The board of the Financial Ombudsman Service unanimously took the decision - following public consultation - to make information about named individual businesses publicly available. This is to encourage businesses to:

  • benchmark their standards of complaints-handling against other firms;
  • learn from businesses who are handling complaints better; and
  • reduce the number of unresolved complaints referred to the ombudsman service.

Prior to this, the ombudsman service had already been making this information available privately to the largest financial services groups. By putting this information into the open, the aim is to encourage those businesses that can be seen to be handling complaints less well to learn from those businesses that are clearly doing a better job.