According to the Financial Ombudsman Service (‘FOS’), complaints and disputes between consumers and banks have fallen for the first time since the global financial crisis (‘GFC’). The number of recorded disputes declined by 11% to 32,307, a first since the 2008/09 GFC period.
The FOS attributes the fall to low interest rates, new rules on flood insurance, and regulatory changes to the hardship programs of banks. Chief Ombudsman Shane Tregillis said that much of the improvement was due to the 22% decline in financial hardship disputes. Disputes resolved without an Ombudsman’s ruling remained steady at 70%.
According to the FOS, credit cards and home loans were the subject of a majority of disputes, and Macquarie Bank experienced the highest rates of any institution. The bank averaged 285.5 disputes for every 100,000 customers for its mortgage services and had 50.3 complaints for every 100,000 credit card customers.
Over Fifty Seniors Equity Release and GE Personal Finance also had high numbers of disputes, with 252.5 and 244.1 disputes for every 100,000 customers. NAB had the highest rates of disputes of all the major banks, with 74.7 disputes every 100,000 customers.