Declined claims on business interruption insurance and travel insurance drive small businesses and consumers to free complaints service

The Financial Ombudsman Service has received more than 3,500 complaints that are related to Covid-19.

Its insight, published today, highlights the impact that Covid-19 has had on a wide range of financial issues for consumers and small businesses.

Almost a quarter of these complaints are from consumers who have had travel plans disrupted and have had travel insurance claims declined by the insurer. The ombudsman service has also received about 200 complaints about claims to banks made under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 from consumers who want their money refunded by their credit provider for cancelled holidays, sport fixtures and concerts that either were cancelled or have been cancelled.

Today’s figures show that the ombudsman service has already received more complaints from small businesses this year than it received in the whole of the last financial year. This increase has been driven largely by complaints about business interruption insurance and Covid-19 related loan schemes,

Analysis of complaints related to Covid-19 also revealed:

  • An increase in complaints about insurance claims related to cancelled wedding ceremonies
  • An increase in complaints about how quickly financial providers were able to process claims or complaints

Caroline Wayman, chief ombudsman and chief executive of the Financial Ombudsman Service, said:

“Covid-19 has had a huge impact on virtually all elements of our lives, including our finances. Since measures to control the virus in the UK were put in place, we’ve been hearing from people who aren’t happy with how their financial provider has treated them.

“We also know that financial businesses themselves have been impacted in their ability to process claims and complaints, and we’ve seen that many have adapted well. However, some financial businesses must continue to do more to ensure they are treating their customers fairly. If anyone isn’t happy with how their complaint about a financial provider has been dealt with, they can come to our service and we’ll see if we can help.”

The Covid-19 insight analysis is published here.

The Financial Ombudsman Service has also published quarterly data about complaints received between April and June 2020 as well as its insight on the complaint trends for that quarter. The insight can be accessed here.

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