The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has reported that it received 340,899 new complaints in the year from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016, up from 329,509 in the previous 12 months.
During the period it answered 1,631,955 enquiries from consumers with one in five initial enquiries turning into a formal dispute.
Payment protection insurance (PPI) made up just over half of the ombudsman’s workload with 188,712 new cases in total.
The FOS also revealed that small businesses, which it defines as those with an annual turnover below €2m and fewer than ten employees, referred 4,777 of the complaints, up 5% from the previous year.
While banking made up 69% of complaints from small businesses, insurance (excluding PPI) accounted for 18% of this total.
During the 12 months the FOS resolved 438,802 complaints (2014/15: 448,387) with half upheld in the consumer’s favour.
Excluding PPI, general insurance accounted for 21.5% of the decisions
The FOS broke down the data to show that 66% of PPI complaints were upheld.
In motor insurance 33% of complaints were upheld while for buildings insurance and contents insurance the figures came in at 38% and 33% respectively.
For travel insurance 48% of complaints were upheld whereas for health insurance 29% were upheld.
Chief ombudsman, Caroline Wayman, commented: “It’s been another year of big numbers and big changes for everyone. But we mustn’t lose sight of the lives and livelihoods behind every complaint we resolve.
“That’s why preventing mistakes of the past from happening again will help restore trust and fairness in financial services.”