The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has released new figures revealing the low number of disputes originating through mortgage brokers when compared to the banks.
The FOS Annual Review 2016-17
reported 25,300 accepted disputes overall during the year. Of these, 10,400 involved the banks while only seven involved mortgage brokers. These seven disputes included two around advice, two around charges, one around financial difficulty, one around instructions, and one around service.
Mortgage brokers currently make up 2% of FOS’s 13,400 members. That includes 5,600 credit licensees and 7,800 authorised credit representatives.
The total number of disputes included almost 11,000 credit disputes, an increase of 5% from the year before. Out of these, around 9,700 (or 88%) fell under consumer credit while 1,000 (or 10%) were under business finance.
Sixty-nine per cent of consumer credit disputes involved banks. This was far higher than for mortgage brokers whose percentage was so small it was combined in the ‘other’ category which took up 2% of disputes and included mortgage brokers, mortgage aggregators, mortgage managers, finance brokers, financial advisers, and a host of other channels.
Breaking down the total number of consumer credit disputes by loan type, 38% were for credit cards, 27% were for home loans and 21% were about personal loans.
Throughout 2016-17, FOS received a total of 39,500 disputes (an increase of 16% from the previous financial year), accepted 25,300 disputes, and closed around 39,500 disputes (an increase of 20%).
“At a time of significant change in our external environment, we received an unprecedented 16% increase in disputes. The main reason for this increase continues to be industry-specific issues in general insurance,” said FOS chairman Michael Lavarch.
Chief Ombudsman Shane Tregillis said that to cope with the increased number of disputes, FOS had recruited additional staff and moved staff to areas of higher dispute volumes.
“While this flexibility helped us keep pace with increased dispute numbers, it also put pressure on staff workloads and we saw some queues re-emerge,” he said.
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