The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) awarded compensation to 57 per cent of those who complained to it last year, and is warning companies that it expects to see a higher volume of complaints as the recession continues to hit home.
The number of complaints received by the Service, which deals with disputes between customers and providers of financial services, increased by 14 per cent last year.
Sir Christopher Kelly, chairman of the Service (and also, incidentally, the man charged with cleaning up MPs" expenses), warned companies that the recession would result in a continued increase in complaints.
He said the FOS was "gearing up to deal with further volatility in complain volumes."
The FOS has powers of investigation over companies about which it receives a complaint. In its annual report, it said that companies almost always chose to settle the complaints early in the process, rather than endure an investigation.