By Marcus Leach

Data released by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) on Tuesday has revealed that complaints in 2011 were up by 54% on the last six months of 2010.

Complaints for the first six months of 2011 totalled 149,925, a 54% increase, with close to two thirds of those complaints relating to payment protection insurance (PPI).

A total of 98,632 of the total complaints were PPI related.

"This period coincided with the time when most of the High Street banks and some other financial businesses had put PPI complaints on hold, because of their legal challenge against the ombudsman service and Financial Services Authority," said Natalie Ceeney, the chief ombudsman.

"As a result, complaints in this period about PPI were harder fought and harder to resolve - particularly if we found in favour of a consumer."

Lloyds, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC and MBNA were each responsible for over 10,000 complaints, covering all categories and amounting, in total, to almost 50% of all complaints in the six month period.

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