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Customer complaints about banks rocket

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The Financial Ombudsman was deluged by 179 per cent more complaints in the past three months compared with the same period last year. It received 159,197 new complaints, although most of them – 132,152 – were about mis-sold payment protection insurance.

The figures prompted the chief ombudsman, Natalie Ceeney, to say that trust in financial services is at a low point. “There is an atmosphere of universal suspicion and distrust [that] will undoubtedly affect our ability to handle complaints smoothly and quickly,” she said. “It is really unhelpful to have another damaging episode like this.”

The number of complaints in three months was almost half the total in the whole of last year. Two thirds of complaints about packaged bank accounts were upheld, much higher than many other financial products.