A 21% increase in inquiries and complaints over the same time last year has been reported by external dispute resolution scheme Financial Services Complaints Ltd (FSCL).
The 4365 complaints this year continued the steady year-on-year increase which has occurred since the scheme was established in 2010.
Insurance – predominantly travel – remains the largest category of complaints formally investigated by FSCL, followed by consumer credit. Complaints about the sale of personal insurance (life, trauma and income protection), while historically low in number, are on the rise.
FSCL Chief Executive Officer Susan Taylor says the increase was across the board, but a common theme underlying the complaints FSCL investigated was a communication breakdown.
“Many complainants say they were not given important information, or that the information they were given was ambiguous or poorly worded," she says.
"Other times the complainant hasn’t disclosed certain information or simply hasn’t understood the information provided, be that the terms of an insurance policy or a written recommendation or plan.”
FSCL provides dispute resolution services to participating financial service providers and their clients.