According to the Financial Ombudsman, the amount of consumer-related financial disputes reached record levels in the year to March. In total the body settled 518,778 disputes, more than double last year’s figure, and found that in 58% of cases the outcome was in the consumer’s favour. Out of the total number of disputes, three quarters of the complaints relate to Payment Protection Insurance (PPI). PPI is a policy designed to help repay loans and credit card debt in the event of illness, redundancy or death. The number of PPI complaints rose 6% to 399,939 however the Financial Ombudsman has reported that the amount of cases coming in per week has dropped to 6,000 – compared to 12,000 per week a few months ago. The biggest jump in complaints was over packaged bank accounts. These accounts, which can be referred to as “paid-for” bank accounts, charge a monthly or annual fee and often include a range of insurance benefits, car breakdown cover and preferential rates on overdrafts and loans. The number of complaints for these rose from 1,629 to 5,667. The Financial Ombudsman is free to consumers and is funded by a levy on the financial services industry and is responsible for dealing with claims that customers feel have been turned down unfairly. The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Setfords Solicitors are a national full service law firm, with dispute resolution solicitors in Reading and across the country.