Adviser Complaints Tumble at Financial Ombudsman Service

Published / Last Updated on 28/06/2022

The independent complaints arbitrator, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has reported that complaints received for the year 2021/22 fell a staggering 34%.

Complaint numbers have fallen off for several reasons:

  • PPI complaints now closed off.
  • Covid-19 lockdowns reducing activity in general.
  • The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) being more pro-active in regulating Claims Management Companies (CMCs).
  • Standards slowly improving.

Financial Adviser Complaints

The proportion of complaints against financial advisers held at 1% as a proportion of total complaints but this is still excellent result meaning that complaints about financial advice also fell in proportion by 34%.

Some key snippets about advice complaints:

  • 2,150 advice complaints of which just 32% were upheld – that’s just 689 complaints for financial advice upheld in full or in part.
  • Most complained about were Stock ISAs followed by Personal Pensions.
  • Half of complaints about defined benefit (DB) transfer advice were upheld with just 48 upheld.


We find it somewhat ‘grating’ that of the 220,000 new complaints just 1% were against financial advisers with the majority against fraud, scams and customer service from large banks, insurers and financial institutions yet our levies keep increasing to the FOS, the FCA and the Financial Service Compensation Scheme (FSCS).  In addition, professional indemnity insurance is still sky high which costs this firm alone £17,000 per financial adviser with no complaints yet again this year let alone any being taken to the Ombudsman.

The FCA asks all advisers to keep their fees down and prove that we offer value for money for Consumer Duties rules yet does nothing to try and alleviate the costs of insurance.  In our 20+ years in trading, we have paid in excess £300,000 in professional premiums presenting very little actual risk to insurers and the same again in regulatory fees, ombudsman, and compensation scheme levies.

That said, human error dictates that everyone makes mistakes in all ‘walks of life’ and we should all be grateful that financial advice standards are up across the UK and complaints are down.

Explore our Site

Money MOT
T and C