MSE News

Almost 90% of TSB complaints upheld by ombudsman

Almost 90% of TSB complaints upheld by ombudsman

Around nine out of 10 TSB customers who complained about the bank to the Financial Ombudsman Service won their case, figures released today reveal. 

There were 5,764 TSB complaints escalated to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) between 1 July and 31 December last year, according to the FOS's latest complaints data. This is more than six times the number received over the same period in 2017, when 855 complaints were made.

The FOS resolved 5,226 TSB complaints during the same period, and upheld the consumer's complaint in 89% of these cases. TSB customers were more than three times as likely to be successful in their complaint than those complaining about other businesses, where the FOS sided with the consumer in an average of 28% of cases.

TSB customers faced weeks of disruption after the bank's IT meltdown in April 2018, and it's just come bottom of our banking customer service league table for the second time in a row.

If you're unhappy with your bank, take action and switch – see our Best Bank Accounts guide for full info, including how to get a free £175 in cash for switching.

What is the Financial Ombudsman Service?

The FOS is an independent body which settles disputes between financial firms and their customers in a range of areas, including bank accounts, credit cards and insurance. 

Consumers can escalate to the ombudsman if they haven't received a satisfactory response from a firm. If the ombudsman decides in a consumer's favour, it can order the firm to pay compensation.

See our Financial Ombudsman guide for more info on your financial rights and how to make a complaint.

What else did the data show?

The FOS releases data about the complaints it receives every six months, including the number of complaints received about each firm and the percentage of complaints resolved in the customer's favour. 

The latest data also shows: 

  • Success rates for consumers complaining about banking and credit services have grown. The FOS sided with the consumer in 45% of cases between July and December 2018, compared to 34% between January and June 2018. 

  • But success rates for consumers complaining about PPI have dropped. 20% of complaints about PPI were resolved in the consumer's favour between July and December 2018, compared to 29% between January and June 2018. 

  • There's been a sharp drop in the number of Plevin cases resolved. The latest figures from July to December 2018 show that 9,435 PPI complaints using the Plevin ruling were resolved during this period, compared to a whopping 77,868 cases between January and June 2018.

    The FOS says this is because the official guidance on how to deal with Plevin cases wasn't finalised until August 2017 – meaning there was a large backlog of Plevin-related complaints which were resolved in the period following this, contributing to the high numbers.

What does TSB say?

A TSB spokesperson said: "We're sorry for the problems our customers experienced as a result of our IT issues last year.

"We have made considerable progress and resolved around 98% (213,000 of the 217,000) of customers complaints received since migration."