Financial companies are still failing to deal properly with customer complaints, judging by the latest figures from the Financial Ombudsman.
They reveal that the numbers of complaints about mis-sold PPI remain high while there continue to be alarmingly large numbers of decisions ruled against some financial institutions.
The banks have repeatedly faced accusations that they have compounded their crimes in the biggest scandal ever to hit the industry by using delaying tactics to try to wear people down in the hope that they will give up their claims.
Past Ombudsman figures have highlighted Lloyds Bank as one of the worst for using the tactic, and yesterday’s figures reveal that 78 per cent of the complaints against the bank were upheld between July and December 2015.
That is the same upheld rate as in the first six months of the year but actually higher than the 74 per cent of complaints upheld again the bank between July and December 2014. That suggests Lloyds is making even less of an effort to deal fairly with customers looking for the compensation they are entitled to.
The credit card companies also appear to be poor at dealing with complaints. Capital One was ruled against in 74 per cent of cases taken to the Ombudsman while at MBNA the figure was 69 per cent.
In contrast, while Bank of Scotland had more complaints than any other individual financial business, the number upheld against it was less than half, at 47 per cent.
Biggest business scandals in pictures
Biggest business scandals in pictures
1/9 Mitsubishi admits 'improper' fuel tests dating back to 1991
Mitsubishi has admitted to using false fuel methods dating back to 1991.The scale of the scandal is only just coming to light after it was revealed in April that data was falsified in the testing of four types of cars, including two Nissan cars.Mitsubishi originally said the affected models were limited to the Mitsubishi ek Wagon and ek Space, and the Nissan Dayz and Dayz Roox.The company said the cars were only sold in Japan, but the investigation would cover overseas. Mitsubishi is Japan's largest car maker. It sold more than one million vehicles last year but has less than one per cent of the UK market. This is the first time a Japanese car maker has been implicated in a vehicle testing scandal since the emissions scandal engulfed Volkswagen last year.
2/9 Panama Papers: Millions of leaked documents expose how world’s rich and powerful hid money
Millions of confidential documents have been leaked from one of the world’s most secretive law firms, exposing how the rich and powerful have hidden their money. Dictators and other heads of state have been accused of laundering money, avoiding sanctions and evading tax, according to the unprecedented cache of papers that show the inner workings of the law firm Mossack Fonseca, which is based in Panama. The documents, dubbed "The Panama Papers", reveal links to 72 current or former heads of state and accuse some of them of having vested interests in their own banks and looting their own countries.The ICIJ has listed 140 politicians from more than 50 countries who are linked to offshore companies in 21 tax havens, including countries such as Argentina, Georgia, Iraq, Jordan, Qatar and Ukraine. Mossack Fonseca said it has operated “beyond reproach” for 40 years and has never been acused or charged with criminal wrong-doing.
3/9 Google's tax avoidance
Google reached a deal with the HM Revenue and Customs to pay back £130 million in so-called “back-taxes” that have been due since 2005. George Osborne championed the deal as a “major success”. But European MEPs have since called for the Chancellor to appear in front of the committee on tax rulings to explain the tax deal. For Google's tax arrangements to be disclosed, there would need to be a common agreement on taxation across Europe and a removal of the secrecy used to calculate taxes. It is currently illegal for Governments to reveals details about what companies pay in taxes.
4/9 Turing Pharmaceuticals and Martin Shkreli
Martin Shkreli became known as the “most hate man in the world” after his drug company, Turing, increased the price of a 62-year-old drug that treated HIV patients by 5,000% to $750 a pill. He was charged with illegally taking stock from Retrophin, a biotechnology firm he started in 2011, and using it pay off debts from unrelated business dealings. Shkreli, who maintains he is innocent, says there is little evidence of fraud because his investors didn't lose money.
5/9 Volkswagen emissions scandal
VW admitted to rigging its US emission tests so that diesel-powered cars would looks like they were emitting less nitrous oxide, which can damage the ozone layer and contribute to respiratory diseases. Around 11 million cars worldwide were affected. “Our company was dishonest with the EPA and the California air resources board, and with all of you, and in my German words, we have totally screwed up,” said Michael Horn, former US chief executive of Volkswagen.
6/9 Quindell, the scandal-ridden insurance firmnow which faced its own sink
Quindell was once a darling of AIM but its share price fell in April 2014 when its accounting practices were attacked in a stinging research note by US short seller Gotham City. In August the group was forced to disclose that the £107 million pre-tax profit it had reported for 2013 was incorrect, and it had in fact suffered a £64million loss. The investigation has prompted legal proceedings to be launched against the firm by a group of 342 retail investors who claim they were misled. Quindell’s shares fell more than 85 percent. In November the troubled company said it would change its name to Watchstone Groupas part of its efforts to draw a line under months of turmoil involving founder Robert Terry.
7/9 Toshiba Accounting Scandal
The boss of Toshiba, the Japanese technology giant, resigned in disgrace in the wake of one of the country’s biggest ever accounting scandals. His exit came two months after the company revealed that it was investigating accounting irregularities. An independent investigatory panel said that Toshiba’s management had inflated its reported profits by up to 152 billion yen (£780m) between 2008 and 2014. Mr Tanaka said the company had suffered “what could be the biggest erosion of our brand image in our 140-year history”.
8/9 FIFA Corruption Scandal
Fifa, football's world governing body, has been engulfed by claims of widespread corruption since summer 2015, when the US Department of Justice indicted several top executives. It has now claimed the careers of two of the most powerful men in football, Fifa President Sepp Blatter (picture) and Uefa President Michel Platini, after they were banned for eight years from all football-related activities by Fifa's ethics committee. A Swiss criminal investigation into the pair is also continuing.
9/9 Libor fraudster
City trader Tom Hayes, 35, has become the first person to be convicted of rigging Libor rates following a trial at London's Southwark Crown Court. Hayes worked as a trader in yen derivatives at UBS before joining the American bank Citigroup in Tokyo. He was fired from Citigroup following an investigation into his trading methods. He returned to the UK in December 2012 and was arrested following a two-and-a-half year criminal investigation by the SFO. He was alleged to have manipulated Libor, the London Interbank Offered Rate, which is used to set the interest rate banks use to lend to each other for $450 trillion-worth of financial contracts and loans. Hayes was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud and faces up to 10 years in jail for each count of conspiracy over the manipulation of Libor.
The compensation bill from the banks forced to repay consumers mis-sold PPI is fast approaching £30bn and despite the Financial Conduct Authority planning to put a deadline on complaints of spring 2018, there is little sign of a let up in the tide of fed-up consumers.
The figures reveal there were 92,667 new PPI complaints in the last six months of 2015, almost the same as the previous six months when there 94,091. However the number of complaints about financial companies taken to the Ombudsman fell slightly in the second half. It took on 164,347 new cases, a fall of 6 per cent from the first six months of the year.