The number of complaints received by financial advisers fell in the second half of last year as gripes against banks and building societies doubled due to back-dated bank charge grievances, FSA figures show.
According to the regulator's latest data, complaints against personal investment firms, most of which are IFAs and advisers, reached 13,994 in the six months to 31 December 2009, more than 3,000 fewer than the 17,186 recorded in H1.
The figure has progressively decreased from H1 2006, when the regulator began collecting the data and when complaints against personal investment firms hit 46,529.
A reduction in the number of mortgage endowment-related complaints is behind the decrease, the FSA says, as reflected in the life insurer sector, where complaints have fallen from 203,000 in H1 2006 to 51,000 in the second half of last year.
Meanwhile, customer gripes against banks and building societies more than doubled in the second half of last year compared with H1 to more than 2,225,000.
The FSA attributes a significant chunk of the increase to back-dated bank charge complaints. They were put on hold by the FSA in July 2007 until the result of an unauthorised overdraft charges test case, which the banks won in November last year.
Overall, the FSA figures show the level of complaints increased to 2.6 million in H1 2009 compared with the previous six months.
The total amount of redress paid by firms was £284m with the largest amount of redress by product for general insurance and pure protection (£144m).
The complaints data, which firms are required to report to the FSA every six months, shows the volume of complaints regulated firms have received, how they have been handled and the amount of redress paid, split into product group and firm type.
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