Complaints against Halifax and Bank of Scotland surge by almost a half

Customer complaints against Halifax and Bank of Scotland have soared by almost half to 265,640, the UK City watchdog revealed yesterday.

While other major lenders experienced a drop in disputes from disgruntled customers, complaints against HBOS rose 46 percent in the first half of the year, compared to the second half of last year. This was mainly driven by a surge in complaints about payment protection insurance (PPI).

It total, customers lodged 2.4 million complaints – 18,750 every working day against financial companies in the first half of the year, a drop of 5 percent. PPI disputes dropped 11 percent to 1.24 million, but customers made 202,617 PPI complaints against HBOS – up by more than half from 131,887 in the second half of last year.

Last night one consumer campaigner demanded the dramatic jump in PPI complaints against HBOS as depressing. It comes more than three years after the banks lost a crucial High Court case in April 2011 and were forced to compensate customers after years of insisting they had done nothing wrong.

Lloyds Banking Group, which has set aside £10.4 billion for the scandal so far, said it had pro-actively contacted customers about PPI – prompting a wave of complaints in the first half of this year.

But James Daley, founder of consumer website Fairer Finance said: “Banks needs to pay compensation as quickly as possible and pay the right amount to rebuild trust and finally put this scandal to bed.”

Martin Dodd group customer service director at Lloyds said: “We know that there is still work to do, and that some wider industry issues have impacted our customers in the first six months of the year. However, we continue to work to make sure that our customers are getting the right outcomes.”