Shop Direct tops FCA table with 23,000 complaints

More than 23,400 consumer credit complaints were filed against Shop Direct Finance in the last six months of 2016 – the most of all UK firms

Shop Direct tops FCA table with 23,000 complaints

The complaint figures are revealed in the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) latest complaints data, which shows how many grievances against financial services firms were opened, closed and upheld in the second half of last year.

As part of the statistical release in April, the FCA originally published a table showing MBNA at the top for the most consumer credit complaints. However, the regulator changed this once it realised a mix-up had occurred in publishing the figures.

The FCA’s initial data stated that MBNA had received more than 100,000 consumer credit complaints during the second half of last year, but the FCA later removed MBNA from that specific table entirely, after the credit card provider flagged an error with the regulator.

MBNA later confirmed to Credit Strategy that it does not record consumer credit complaints, only those for banking and credit cards, insurance and pure protection.

The general complaints data in April included new elements, because the FCA now requires firms including lenders, debt purchasers and collections firms to submit all complaints data, including those that had been resolved by the end of the business day after they were received.

The FCA’s official data therefore now gives specific figures on complaints against individual firms, as well as what products and services are most complained about.

The lender with the most consumer credit complaints in the second half of 2016, after Shop Direct, was Clydesdale Financial Services with around 12,000 – just under half of the amount recorded by Shop Direct. For the same period, Secure Trust Bank was third, recording just over 10,000.

Of these three firms, Shop Direct upheld the most complaints – at 66 percent. The FCA defined upheld complaints as those which the firm agreed with and had taken action to resolve the issue, through measures including redress.

National Westminster Bank upheld 71 percent of all its complaints – the most out of the top 10 firms with the highest number of consumer credit complaints opened against it.

The big picture

Of all types of complaints against financial firms, PPI remained the most complained about product in the second half of 2016, with 895,000 complaints fired off.

Current accounts was next with 514,000, while 172,000 complaints packaged back accounts were recorded- making a collective total of 23 percent of all complaints.

Credit card complaints made up 10 percent with around 313,000 reported.

Of all the complaints about products reported by the FCA, 43 percent were closed within three days and 60 percent were upheld. Some £1.9bn was paid out by firms in redress during the second half of 2016.

Only two percent of all complaints were caused by arrears-related issues – the biggest reason for complaints was general admin and customer service (40 percent).

Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said: “Consumers want a simple way to complain that does not leave them out of pocket. And they want to be assured that their concerns will be dealt with fairly and quickly.

“This data will provide us with improved intelligence on complaints including new detailed data to show where industry is potentially failing consumers at product level”.