* 519,000 disputes settled, more than double 2012 figure
* PPI complaints account for 78 percent of cases
LONDON May 20 Britain's Financial Ombudsman
Service settled a record 519,000 disputes last year, more than
double the number in 2012, with the increase driven by cases
relating to the mis-selling of loan insurance.
The independent body, which was set up to deal with disputes
where financial services companies and their customers cannot
reach agreement, said on Tuesday that payment protection
insurance (PPI) accounted for 78 percent of all cases, with the
number of PPI complaints rising 6 percent to nearly 400,000.
"It has been an unprecedented 12 months for the ombudsman by
anyone's standards," Chief Ombudsman Tony Boorman said.
Banks have set aside more than 20 billion pounds ($33.7
billion) to compensate customers wrongly sold PPI policies,
which were meant to protect borrowers against sickness or
redundancy but were often sold to customers who didn't want or
need them, or who would have been unable to claim on their
Britain's biggest four banks - Lloyds Banking Group
, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland
-accounted for 63 percent of total complaints received, up from
62 percent last year.
The ombudsman found in favour of the consumer in 58 percent
General inquiries received by the ombudsman climbed to 2.3
million, equivalent to 40,000 a week.
($1 = 0.5943 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by David Goodman)