Fall in protection complaints to FCA

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Complaints about income protection (IP) and critical illness cover (CI) fell in the second half of 2014 figures from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have revealed.

The category "Other decumulation, life and pensions" also saw a fall in the number of complaints made.

The number of complaints against life insurers and the proportion of complaints "closed" within eight weeks fell to 90%. This is a fall of 6% with 40,192 closed within that time frame.

There was also an increase in the proportion of complaints upheld against life insurers to 48%, an increase of 3%.

Among decumulation, life and pensions providers The Prudential Assurance Company Limited received the most complaints (6,209), with Friends Life (5,188) and Aviva Life (4,153) coming second and third.

Across the whole financial industry complaints fell 7%, excluding PPI they were up by 1%, mostly due to an 8% rise in banking and credit card complaints.

Christopher Woolard, director of strategy and competition at the FCA,said: "Today's statistics offer a mixed picture. When you take PPI out of the equation, complaints are still on the up.

"So, while the overall decreases we have seen should be welcomed there is still more for financial services firms to do.

"The FCA's challenge to those firms is to put the necessary measures in place to ensure we see a consistent fall across all sectors."

A spokesperson for Friends Life said: "Friends Life is committed to providing quality service and propositions to customers.

"When we receive a complaint, we deal with it fairly and thoroughly and do our best to put it right for the customer.

"We will continue to work hard to meet the needs of our customers and reduce the number of complaints.

"The figures quoted by the FCA account for around 0.1% of our 5 million customers, however we will continue to work hard to reduce the number of complaints we receive."

A spokesperson for Aviva said:"At Aviva we're passionate about excellent customer service and we always aim to get things right first time for our customers.

"Occasionally things are not as the customer expected and complaints help us understand where we can improve and what our customers' opinions are on our products and services.

"Although we aim for no complaints, the ones we get, over the course of a year, represent less than 0.3% of our UK customers.

"When our customers come to us with a concern, our first priority is to discuss the matter and resolve it, where possible within 10 days.

"Where a customer still has concerns, we advise them of their right to approach the Financial Ombudsman Service with their complaint."

 

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