Aviva tops FOS pension complaints list

By Hannah Godfrey

Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) data from the first six months of 2020 has revealed Aviva received the most pension complaints of all firms listed.

Between January and June 2020, the FOS received a total of 76,624 non-PPI complaints, up by just under 1,000 from the previous reporting period.

During the period Aviva received 276 new pension complaints. In H1 2020, 23% of pension complaints against it were upheld but some of those could relate to pension complaints from a previous period that were resolved during the first six months of 2020.

After Aviva came Prudential, with 195 new pension complaints during H1 2020, with 11% of pension complaints against upheld.

Phoenix Life was the third provider most complained about when it came to pensions, with 155 new complaints, and a 7% uphold rate.

Excluding PPI-related complaints, the average complaint uphold rate across all firms for the period was 31%. The average uphold rate for pension complaints during H1 2020 was 16%.


For investment-related complaints, the banks took the crown. Barclays Bank saw the greatest number of new investment-related complaints during the period, with 223 new complaints recorded. In H1 2020, 35% of Barclays investment complaints were upheld.

Next came Lloyds Bank with 187 new investment complaints and an uphold rate of 23%, followed by Santander with 183 new investment complaints and a 13% uphold rate.

For investment complaints, the average percentage of cases upheld against firms was 18%.

Overall Barclays Bank was the most complained about firm with 8,443 new complaints. Some 24% were upheld against it during H1 2020.

A total of 225 businesses featured in the FOS’s complaints data for the first half of 2020 compared to 223 in the last six-month period. To feature on the list, a firm must receive more than 30 new complaints and resolved 30 complaints during a six-month period.

The firm with the greatest percentage of complaints upheld against it was Shawbrook Bank, which saw a 94% complaint uphold rate against during January to June 2020. Overall it faced 383 new complaints during the period, almost all of which related to banking and credit.