People made more than 3 million complaints to the UK's finance watchdog in just 6 months

LONDON — The UK’s financial watchdog received more than 3 million complaints from consumers about financial products in the second half of 2016, according to figures released on Wednesday, with firms paying out a total of £1.9 billion in the period.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said that it received a record 3.04 million complaints from British consumers over issues including Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) and problems with current accounts during the last six months of the year.

The most complained-about product was PPI, with a total of 895,000 complaints. The product was widely mis-sold by high street banks and lenders in the 19 90s and 2000s, and complaints relating to PPI are increasing as the FCA’s August 2019 deadline approaches for customers to pursue complaints.

Current accounts were the second most complained-about product, with 514,000 customers complaining to the FCA in the six-month period.

The total redress paid to consumers in the period was £1.9 billion, £1.6 billion of which was made up of PPI claims, with 60% of consumers’ complaints upheld.

The FCA said that the 3.04 million figure was higher than the 2.05 million reported in the first half of 2016 because it brought in new rules on June 30 which means more complaints are now recorded.

Firms were not previously required to report complaints if they were resolved on the same working day, but all are now recorded.

Christopher Woolard, the FCA’s executive director of strategy and competition, said: “Consumers want a simple way to complain that does not leave them out of pocket. And they want to be assured that their concerns will be dealt with fairly and quickly.”

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