The Bad Boys of Insurance

The UK Insurance industry watchdog the FSA has been very busy in it’s final year of existence before it is replaced by another quango, and has published figures of which firms are the most complained about by consumers. The FSA is keen to point out that the larger the operation the more likely there are to be complaints about that firms services or products and that the figures do not constitute a league table of bad boys.

Hmm……..what do they show then?

Here’s the top fifty of the most complained about Insurance companies in the UK:

Firm name | Number of complaints opened |Number of complaints closed |Complaints closed within 8 weeks (%) | Closed complaints upheld by firm (%)

Lloyds TSB Bank Plc 84,775 39,789 97 68
Barclays Bank Plc 59,003 40,230 65 68
Bank of Scotland plc 49,566 28,239 88 72
MBNA Europe Bank Limited 36,195 19,256 93 48
National Westminster Bank Plc 26,967 18,126 40 57
The Royal Bank of Scotland Plc 21225 13779 36 49
Capital One (Europe) plc 20,799 23,014 64 30
British Gas Services Limited 19,366 13,085 98 84
Santander UK Plc 18,588 19,956 90 71
Aviva Insurance UK Limited 18,011 18,390 96 55
HSBC Bank Plc 17,157 9,583 56 31
Direct Line Insurance Plc 17,004 16,589 75 54
UK Insurance Limited 15299 15455 73 54
Black Horse Limited 13,959 7,468 87 83
Egg Banking Plc 9,965 7,297 91 58
Churchill Insurance Company Limited 9,949 10,031 76 55
Homeserve Membership Limited 9,504 9,837 97 31
Northern Rock (Asset Management) plc 8,870 8,257 95 72
Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Plc 8,337 6,677 93 53
HFC Bank Limited 8,151 5,752 91 46
ACE European Group Limited 7,823 8,458 92 41
EUI Limited 7,540 7,663 96 42
Automobile Association Insurance Services Limited 6,549 6,744 99 52
Clydesdale Bank Plc 6,343 3,995 30 41
Marks & Spencer Financial Services Plc 6,049 3,941 88 5
BISL Limited 5,723 5,464 94 21
AXA Insurance UK Plc 5,722 6,137 94 40
Eisis Ltd 5,187 5,676 96 55
The Co-operative Bank Plc 4962 2914 92 60
Ageas Insurance Limited 4,727 3,818 89 51
CIS General Insurance Limited 4,659 4,462 98 64
Nationwide Building Society 4,640 3,371 95 37
Liverpool Victoria Insurance Company Limited 4,629 4,626 95 56
The Carphone Warehouse Ltd 4075 4301 98 22
Firstplus Financial Group Plc 3,967 3,916 65 11
Hastings Insurance Services Ltd 3,916 3,701 88 61
BUPA Insurance Services Limited 3,879 4,128 90 42
Tesco Personal Finance PLC 3791 3785 72 24
Zurich Insurance PLC 3658 2812 90 57
Domestic & General Insurance Plc 3,545 3,636 99 79
RAC Financial Services Ltd 3,459 3,084 98 56
esure Insurance Limited 3,291 3,273 97 41
Shop Direct Finance Company Limited 3,276 2,507 98 7
St Andrew’s Insurance Plc 2,699 2,679 98 28
Endsleigh Insurance Services Ltd 2,698 2,605 98 42
Firstassist Insurance Services Ltd 2,675 2,623 77 34
Allianz Insurance Plc 2,606 2,655 95 35
Lloyds TSB General Insurance Limited 2,221 2,231 97 41

The Financial Services Authority also points out that these figures reflect the number of complaints recorded by the companies themselves and passed to the FSA.

So is the FSA a paper tiger?
Well according to reports today the FSA has handed out more fines to financial firms this swansong year than any year to date…..
The amount of fines that FSA has handed out this quarter has risen from £33.1m last year to £96.7m as the dying institution ups its enforcement activity in a response to public atitiude about financial services in general.

The average fine handed out to perpetrators by the FSA last year was up 49% on the 2010 figures, from £739,284 to £1,099,159.

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