The latest edition of Ombudsman News focuses on complaints arising from Covid-19 and its impact on consumers and SMEs. FOS notes that some of the issues are new, but others are common issues made worse by the pandemic.
- FOS has seen more than 3,500 complaints related to Covid-19 – 23% of them on travel insurance and 30% on business interruption insurance;
- consumers have complained about refusals of applications for payment deferrals;
- SMEs have complained about their business interruption insurance coverage and delays and declines in CBILS and BBLS applications;
- there have been numerous complaints about how insurers have been handling claims for cancelled holidays, and also claims for refunds under s75 CCA. FOS has also seen an increase in complaints about wedding insurance;
- consumers have complained about claims for damage that could not be processed because inspectors could not provide reports, or mortgage applications that could not be processed because surveyors could not enter properties;
- some consumers have complained they cannot access online banking and therefore lost access to banking services.
FOS believes it will be dealing with Covid-19 related complaints for some time to come.
Overall, the quarter saw a small decrease in new complaints and a larger decrease in referrals to an ombudsman. The uphold rate was 40% excluding PPI, with 86% of home credit related complaints being upheld. PPI is still the most complained about product, but FOS received significantly fewer complaints than it was expecting – and the uphold rate is only 17%. FOS has seen a small decrease in payday loan and instalment complaints but significant increases in complaints in other areas of the wider high-cost credit market – with a 177% increase in complaints about guarantor loans.
Complaints about CMCs have also been high, and there is a 50% uphold rate.