The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has published its latest complaints data which saw complaints fall to its lowest level in seven years.

In data for the most recent six-month period (1st January to 30th June), FOS dealt with just over 118,000 complaints compared to 188,000 in the first half of 2018 and 313,000 in the first half of 2013.

FOS highlighted that complaints about guarantor loans and home credit have increased. When compared to the previous quarter, FOS saw the number of new payday loan and instalment complaints decline slightly, likely as a result of some of the larger payday lenders exiting the market.

At the same time, there was a significant increase in complaints in other areas of the wider high-cost credit market. New complaints about guarantor loans increased by 177% (to 1,017) this quarter, and new complaints about home credit by 77% (to 1,166).

PPI continues to be the most complained-about product, although complaint numbers declined by 39%  compared to the previous quarter. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, financial businesses had to focus their resources where they were most needed, meaning that they’re still working through the millions of customer complaints received following the PPI deadline in August 2019.

The uphold rate for PPI complaints remains low at 17%.  FOS says that this suggests that businesses are continuing to apply the FOS established approach to PPI mis-selling complaints, meaning most consumers are getting fair answers at the first time of asking.