Dispute resolution business Financial Services Complaints Ltd says it investigated 258 cases and resolved 4,952 complaints and inquiries from customers about financial services in the year to 30 June 2019.
In its latest annual report, FSCL says it opened 282 cases for investigation in 2018/19, which was at a similar level to the 288 in 2017/18.
"After a big jump from the previous year (35%), it appears this level of disputes is the new norm. We completed slightly more investigations this year with 258 cases compared to 245 cases in 2017/2018," it says.
"We once again reduced the number of average working days to investigate and resolve a complaint, down to 50 working days from 55 last year. We also met our timeliness targets on our different case categories."
The report says complaints against insurers remained the greatest proportion of the cases investigated at 34%, although this was slightly down on last year’s 36%. Complaints against lenders remained steady at 21%.
"This year the financial product most complained about was consumer credit, making up 19% of the cases investigated, followed by travel insurance on 17%. We received more complaints than last year about credit cards, mortgage loans, trading platforms, foreign exchange services, KiwiSaver hardship withdrawal applications, and home and contents insurance. Complaints about travel cards were down, but other categories of complaints were roughly on a par with last year’s numbers."
FSCL says it negotiated or awarded compensation totalling $848,846, up 47.5% from the $575,274 awarded in 2017/2018. The largest individual settlement was $114,000 in a case involving losses made on a trading platform.