The Financial Ombudsman Service has had to recruit 1,000 extra workers to deal with the "unprecedented" number of complaints about mis-sold payment protection insurance.
The service raised its workforce to 2,500 as it became swamped by complaints about the expensive and often useless loan cover sold by banks, credit card companies and others. There has been little let-up in the number of complaints arriving, with the problem worsened by banks' often unhelpful attitude.
Tony Boorman, deputy chief ombudsman, said that many businesses "continue to frustrate their customers with delays and inconvenience. This has a marked impact on our workload".