The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has released the latest six-monthly complaints data relating to banks, insurers and other financial businesses.  The figures published today show that the ombudsman took on a total of 169,132 new cases in the first half of 2016 – an increase of 3% on the previous period.

Of the total cases referred to the ombudsman in the first half of 2016, payment protection insurance (PPI) made up 54% of new complaints – with 91,381 new cases (92,667 in the previous period ).

For complaints about financial products other than PPI, the number has increased by 8% to 77,751. This includes a doubling in the number of payday lending complaints, compared to the last six months of 2015.

The average uphold rate (where the ombudsman found in the consumer’s favour) over the six-month period was 48% – ranging from 3% to 92% across the individual businesses. 221 businesses feature in the data in total.

Chief Ombudsman Caroline Wayman said: “The data we have published about complaints over the last decade or so helps to illustrate a period that’s been challenging and volatile for many financial businesses. But the current signs are that complaints are now broadly levelling off and moving onto a more even keel. Lots of factors can influence the complaints we see, from more people knowing more about their rights when things go wrong to external factors like volatility in the stock market or extreme weather conditions. That’s why I believe it’s important that we continue to share our insights into complaints to help businesses to avoid the mistakes of the past.”