Barclays again tops complaints league table

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Barclays bank has once again topped the list of most complained about financial firms, according to official figures from the Financial Service Authority issued yesterday.

The bank grabbed the shameful title from Santander earlier this year and strengthened its position at the top of the list by attracting some 251,563 complaints in the six months to the end of June, almost 40 per cent more than second place Lloyds TSB, which had 181,907 complaints.

Banks were easily the most complained about financial firms in the first half of the year with Santander third worst with 168,888, followed by NatWest with 147,109, Bank of Scotland – owned by Lloyds Banking Group – with 130,469, and HSBC with 98,150.

Breaking the banks' monopoly of the most-complained about firms was credit card company MBNA which logged 71,269 complaints to grab seventh place in the list of shame. It was closely followed by Royal Bank of Scotland – which also owns fourth place NatWest – which had some 68,414 complaints.

Completing the top 10 list were credit card company Capital One with 39,049 complaints and British Gas Services with 37,272. The total overall number of complaints increased by 3 per cent to 1,852,284.

Payment protection insurance continued to dominate the figures with the total number of complaints about PPI climbing by 23 per cent to 531,667. In fact, once PPI and insurance-related complaints are stripped out, Barclays said the number of complaints it had about banking in the first six months of 2011 were just 162,611. This is a notable cut on the previous six months figure of 205,151.

The bank said it has been working to identify problems, particularly in relation to replacing debit cards and providing up-to-date account information.