Complaints against financial advisers to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) nearly doubled in the past year to 4,139, however the proportion upheld fell to 42{0a6a65c996ed4169444354e707b897cdb00dbefc1d0429e8febb9bf11027ba53} compared with 54{0a6a65c996ed4169444354e707b897cdb00dbefc1d0429e8febb9bf11027ba53} in the previous year.

Overall the proportion of complaints to the FOS about IFAs remains extremely low – at just 1{0a6a65c996ed4169444354e707b897cdb00dbefc1d0429e8febb9bf11027ba53} of the total.“The figures show that financial advisers are responsible for remarkably few complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service, yet unfortunately it remains a very difficult market for IFAs to secure professional indemnity insurance,” said James Burgoyne, Director, Brunel Professional Risks. “We work closely with our IFA clients to help them understand and manage risk in their business and present their business to PII insurers in the best possible light.”

Banks attracted the majority of FOS complaints in the year to March 2013, more than doubling to nearly 390,000.  Overall, payment protection insurance misselling attracted the most complaints, increasing by 140{0a6a65c996ed4169444354e707b897cdb00dbefc1d0429e8febb9bf11027ba53} to almost 380,000.

The FOS’s ‘adviser’ category covers the independent advice sector and excludes banks, tied advisers, mortgage and general insurance brokers.  Although representing only a small proportion of total complaints, advisers accounted for 21{0a6a65c996ed4169444354e707b897cdb00dbefc1d0429e8febb9bf11027ba53} of pension and 14{0a6a65c996ed4169444354e707b897cdb00dbefc1d0429e8febb9bf11027ba53} of investment complaints.

Key facts and figures about the FOS annual review have been published on the FOS website here, and the full annual review can be downloaded here.