But Nicola Sharp of business crime solicitors Rahman Ravelli sees some possible signs for optimism in the data.

The number of complaints to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) about regulated firms has shown a significant increase on last year.

The data shows a rise in complaints from 3.91M in the second half of 2018 to 4.29M for the first half of this year.

Much of the increase is due to a 34% rise in the volume of PPI complaints received – up from 1.58M to 2.12M. PPI complaints made up 49% of all complaints received during the first half of 2019. There was a 6% fall in non-PPI complaints, from 2.32M in the second half of 2018 to 2.18M in the first half of 2019.

Apart from PPI complaints, current accounts receive the most complaints (14% of reported complaints), followed by credit cards (8%) and motor and transport insurance (6%). The average number of complaints received per 1,000 accounts for banking and credit cards has dropped to 4.2 in 2019 from 4.6 in late 2018. Complaints per 1,000 mortgage accounts also fell, from 9.6 to 8.7.

When PPI statistics are removed from the data, the first half of this year is showing the lowest volume of complaints firms have received since new reporting rules came into effect in 2016.

While it is obviously true that the sheer number of PPI complaints dominates the statistics, the fact that the number of complaints that are not PPI-related is at its lowest since the new reporting rules were introduced could prove notable.

Before 29 June 2016, the FCA did not require firms to submit data for complaints that were resolved by the end of the business day after they had been received. From 30 June 2016, this changed so all complaints become reportable. It remains to be seen whether this reduction in non-PPI complaints is a one-off or a genuine indicator of improvements being made in the regulated sector.

Learn more about Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Investigations.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.