Phoenix top as FCA complaints hit 3.8 million

Consolidator The Phoenix Group featured heavily in data from the UK Financial Conduct Authority that shows complaints about all financial services firms rose by 13% in the second half of 2017, driven by payment protection insurance (PPI) claims.

Phoenix top as FCA complaints hit 3.8 million


There were 3.76 million complaints in the six months to 31 December 2017, an increase of more than 427,000 compared with the previous six-month period.

Complaints about PPI hit the highest level for more than four years, rising 40% to 1.55 million, but this is unsurprising with the window for complaints closing on 29 August 2019.

Excluding PPI, there were 2.21 million complaints, a decrease of 13,000 compared with the previous six months.

Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said: “When PPI is taken out of the mix, the numbers of complaints firms are receiving has remained stable. Firms should be doing all they can to reduce complaints and ensure they are treating customers fairly.”

After PPI, the most complained about products are current accounts and credit cards.

Insurance, investment and pensions, oh my

Of the 217 companies and subsidiaries listed in the FCA data, 50 firms received complaints about investments, with closed book consolidator The Phoenix Group taking the top two slots and fourth place.

Thirty-eight firms received complaints about decumulation and pensions between 1 July 2017 and 31 December 2017. The Phoenix Group also made an appearance.

The most complained about were:


When asked about the level of complaints, a spokesperson for Phoenix told International Adviser: “Phoenix has a number of life companies within the organisation. The consolidated figure for Phoenix companies is 2.29.

“Ensuring customers receive the right outcomes from their complaints is the most important measure for us. Our [Financial Ombudsman Service] overturn rate for the same period was 16%, which was well below the decumulation, life and pension industry average of 27%.”

The Phoenix Group made headlines in February when it acquired the insurance arm of Standard Life Aberdeen.

The closed book consolidator specialises in the management and acquisition of closed life and pension funds.

Headquartered in Jersey, it operates primarily in the UK, with the core business segment of life insurance coming under the Phoenix Life brand.


Complaints about insurance and pure protection were made against 131 firms on the list.

The FCA noted that, for some firms, the context data for the insurance and protection product group is particularly high.

“This is because these firms are not able to calculate the total number of past PPI policies sold. Consequently, some of the context figures in the firm specific tables are based on the number of policies sold in a shorter period, or policies currently in force, rather than the total. This leads to higher overall contextualisation figures.”

Click through to the next page to see how other key providers fared.

Latest Stories