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22 May 2013
New statistics from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) show total disputes across the financial services sector referred to the ombudsman were up 29% for the first quarter of 2012, compared with the corresponding period in 2011.
The data shows FOS cases have risen steadily over the past year, only dropping back slightly in the last quarter of 2011.
Last year the number of disputes rose 13% from the first quarter to the second quarter, and 12% from the second quarter to the third quarter, before falling back 12% in the final quarter of the year.
But for the first quarter of 2012 disputes referred to FOS were up 16% on the final quarter of 2011, with 9590 new disputes lodged.
General insurance accounted for 2814 of the disputes received by FOS, or 29% – second only to credit disputes, which accounted for 49%.
This is the first time dispute statistics have been published by FOS, which will now publish quarterly statistical updates on the numbers of disputes received and closed.
For the January-March 2012 quarter, FOS closed 8734 disputes – 5% more than in the previous quarter and 20% more than for the first quarter of last year.
Of the disputes closed, 68% were resolved through an agreement between the financial services provider and the consumer, with only 8% closed through a formal decision by FOS.
Of the 8% of disputes resolved by FOS, 59% were closed in favour of the financial services provider, while 41% were resolved in favour of the consumer.
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