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Ombudsman records drop in pensions and investments complaints

But it warns about the rise in social media scams

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The UK’s Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has reported significantly lower levels of enquiries in the 2021-22 financial year with 282,035 cases compared with 456,594 in 2020-21.

Complaints were also down at 165,263 for the year from 279,146 in the previous 12 months.

The most complained about issues were related to scams, with the Ombudsman pointing out the growing trend of those involving social media and fake investments.

Overall, case levels were lower than in 2020-21, while uphold rate increased to 38% from 31%.

The most complained-about sectors were banking and payment services (62,363 cases); followed by consumer credit (36,857) and insurance (33,127).

Nausicaa Delfas, interim chief executive and chief ombudsman at the FOS, said: “Over the past year, the Financial Ombudsman Service continued to help over 200,000 customers who had problems with financial businesses on issues across banking, lending, insurance and investments.

“In this period of economic uncertainty, it is more important than ever that where problems do arise, they are addressed quickly.  We are here to help to resolve financial disputes fairly and impartially.”

Pensions and investments

Total new complaints for the investments and pensions category dropped to 16,276 from 20,854.

Last year, personal pensions received the highest number of complaints in the group with 2,662, taking the top spot from Sipps in 2020-21 with 3,021 claims.

Administration or customer service remained the most complained-about issue with 6,340 cases – down from 8,483 in 2020-21.

Of all the claims in the investments and pension category, 16,460 were resolved with a total uphold rate of 28%, the FOS said.

Pension and annuities received a total of 7,608, including personal pensions (2,662); Sipps (2,265); annuities (383); and Qrops (69).

At the same time, the Ombudsman reported a total of 2,779 complaints for life and critical illness cover in the 12-month period.

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