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A record number of complaints about payment protection insurance (PPI) has helped push up the total number of grievances lodged with financial companies by a fifth.

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Complaints about general insurance and PPI during the second half of last year smashed reach nearly 1.3 million, according to the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

The total number of complaints about all products was 2.25 million during the six months. This represents about 12,000 complaints a day during the second half of 2011.

However, the number of banking complaints has fallen to the lowest level since the second half of 2006.

Of all complaints processed during the six months, 60pc were upheld. The percentage of general insurance and PPI complaints upheld rose to nearly 70pc.

“This complaints data is evidence that some banks are still failing to treat their customers fairly when things go wrong,” said Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director.

“The increase in PPI complaints further demonstrates just how widespread PPI mis-selling was.

“We now need to see the banks take action and deal with these complaints quickly and efficiently and the FSA must take action against anyone dragging their feet settling complaints.”

The FSA said: “Publishing this data brings complaints to the attention of firms and consumers alike, and gives firms a benchmark and an incentive to improve how they treat their customers and handle complaints.”

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