Customer complaints to banks increased dramatically in the first six months of 2012, mainly driven by the mis-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI).
Figures released by individual banks show that the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) saw a massive 128 per cent rise in complaints. Barclays saw a 76 per cent jump in complaints compared to the same period in 2011.
But Lloyds came top of the list both in terms of the largest rise in complaints and the most total complaints. The bank saw a 146 per cent increase in complaints and received a total of 860,026 complaints in the first six months of 2012.
However, Lloyds data includes complaints about PPI. If this is stripped out, Lloyds actually recorded an 18 per cent drop in complaints, down to just 121,684.
Barclays also recorded a drop in complaints if the PPI element is ignored, down nine per cent to 161,908.
The figures reveal just what a huge impact PPI has had on the banks operations and reveal the huge resources that they need to employ to deal with the scandal.
Some analysts believe the figures are skewed by the large number of spurious PPI claims sent in by claims management companies. The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) revealed earlier this month that they are receiving 1,500 new PPI compensation claims each day.
The figures do give a good idea of the performance and level of customer service offered by individual banks if the PPI element is stripped away.
They show that Lloyds performed the best of the main “big five” high street banks, whilst RBS saw a 35 per cent increase in complaints not including PPI.
PPI was sold alongside credit cards and loans but in many cases the product was invalid and sold to customers without them having it explained properly.
The subsequent scandal saw the banks lose a high court appeal and accept that they would have to compensate customers who were mis-sold the product. In total, banks have set aside £9 billion to cover their liabilities.
The huge number of complaints received by RBS as a result of the IT meltdown that affected NatWest and Ulster Bank customers is also not included in the figures.
Banks are required to publish these figures twice a year by the regulators.