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Aviva tops pension complaints list

But just 24% of cases were upheld in H1 2022, Ombudsman data shows


Complaints made against businesses to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) have kept a steady pace throughout the first half of 2022.

FOS figures show that total new cases for the period were 72,978 compared with 73,163 for the second half of 2021, with banking and credit still the most complained about sectors.

Cases relating to decumulation, life and pensions, however, increased by nearly a fifth to 4,193 in H1 2022 up from 3,552 in the second half of last year.

The most complained about firm was Aviva Life & Pensions UK which saw 296 new cases opened. ReAssure came second with 279, followed by Scottish Widows (221), The Prudential Assurance Company (180), and Phoenix Life (134).

By contrast, in H2 2021, ReAssure was the most complained about company for decumulation, life and pensions with 326 cases, while Aviva received 321, showing a decline in the number of new cases against them.

In terms of the proportion of complaints upheld, the Ombudsman sided with consumers across sectors and businesses 37% of the time.

The average lowers to 26% for decumulation, life and pensions; more specifically 24% for Aviva, 27% for ReAssure and 18% for Scottish Widows.

But the data shows that a higher percentage of cases were upheld in the first six months of 2022, compared with H2 2021.

In fact, in the last six months of 2021, the FOS upheld just 23% of cases against Aviva and 21% against both ReAssure and Scottish Widows.

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