This section gives the answers to frequently-asked questions (FAQs) about:
Our complaints data shows both good and bad complaints handling by the 150 or so financial businesses that together account for around 90% of the ombudsman service's workload. The data is available for anyone to download from our website.
The data is in tables that you can search in various ways including:
You can look for yourself on our website – to see which businesses had most or least complaints referred to the ombudsman. Don't forget that larger businesses may get more complaints because of their size.
You can also look for yourself to see the percentage of complaints we upheld in favour of consumers – in relation to each of the businesses included in the data.
We decide each complaint entirely on its own particular facts and merits. If you're unhappy with how a business has handled a complaint, it's your right to bring the case to the ombudsman service. The percentage of complaints we upheld in the last six months – or in any previous period – is not an automatic indicator of how likely you are to win or lose. Previous uphold rates do not form part of the decision we make on any individual case.
The percentages we publish – showing the proportion of complaints we resolved in favour of consumers – are not the "odds" on whether we'll uphold your complaint or not. So this figure doesn't mean you have an 70% chance of winning your case.
These percentages are simply a snapshot of what happened in a previous six-month period. We decide each case entirely on its own particular facts and merits. Previous uphold rates do not form part of the decision we make on any individual case.
If you can't find a name, it will be for one of two reasons:
The data available on our website is about how financial businesses handled customer complaints. It shows how many complaints the ombudsman service received – in the relevant six-month period – in relation to each of the 150 or so businesses that together make up around 90% of our workload.
The data breaks down the total figure for each individual business into the five FSA product-groups – such as banking & credit and general insurance. For complaints data relating to periods from 2011, we show payment protection insurance (PPI) as an additional separate group.
The data also shows the percentage of complaints we resolved in favour of consumers in the relevant six-month period – giving a total figure for each of the businesses, similarly broken down into the five FSA product-groups and PPI (for 2011 onwards).
We are making this data available in the spirit of openness. Our board doesn't believe that this information should be kept secret from people. But we are not able to explain or interpret what any individual figures or trends may mean. And different people may want to understand them in different ways.
The board of the Financial Ombudsman Service unanimously took the decision – following public consultation – to make information about named individual businesses publicly available. This is to encourage businesses to:
Prior to this, the ombudsman service had already been making this information available privately to the largest financial services groups. By putting this information into the open, the aim is to encourage those businesses that can be seen to be handling complaints less well to learn from those businesses that are clearly doing a better job.