Travel insurance no longer top subject of complaints – ombudsman

Economic downturn triggers increased volume of complaints

Travel insurance no longer top subject of complaints – ombudsman

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Consumer credit has displaced travel insurance as the top subject of financial complaints in the last year, according to an annual report by the Financial Services Complaints Limited (FSCL), a financial ombudsman service.

“The increase in complaints is reflective of the challenges in the wider economic environment,” said Susan Taylor, FSCL ombudsman and CEO. Taylor added that, as history has shown with the global financial crisis in 2008, an economic downturn is associated with an increase in complaints.

“At times of economic turbulence with consumers facing increasing pressures and rising costs, maintaining consumer confidence in the financial markets is more important than ever,” Taylor said. “Access to effective dispute resolution plays a crucial part in maintaining confidence and consumers’ trust in the financial organisations and advisers that they interact with on a regular basis.”

FSCL also noted a 15% increase in complaints, with 1,077 received so far in 2022, compared to 931 in the same period last year.

The ombudsman service has formally investigated 214 cases this year, with the largest proportion of complaints about consumer credit products at 29%, followed by mortgage loans at 10% and credit cards at 9%.

Taylor said 2022 was a big year for the organisation, which gained the right to use the title of ombudsman. She said that FSCL meets all the criteria of an ombudsman – including the principles of fairness, independence, accessibility, accountability and efficiency.

“The title carries considerable mana and, in my view, acknowledges the work FSCL does in providing a world-class dispute resolution service,” Taylor said. “It was important for FSCL’s name to accurately reflect the role the organisation plays, therefore improving trust in FSCL’s service.”

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