By Daniel Hunter

According to the financial ombudsman service payment protection insurance (PPI) complaints are rising at 'unprecedented' rates.

The service received 211,885 new PPI complaints in the second half of 2012.

These made up nearly three-quarters of the 283,251 new complaints sent to the ombudsman during the six months.

"The number of PPI complaints has continued to increase at unprecedented levels and we are now regularly taking on around 2,000 new cases each day," Natalie Ceeney, chief executive and chief ombudsman, said.

"Over the last year or so, we have geared up substantially to deal with these record complaint numbers and we are now resolving more cases each week than ever before.

"However, as the complaint levels show no sign of slowing, consumers are increasingly having to wait longer to get their complaints sorted — with many businesses still continuing to cause unnecessary delays.

"Where businesses have shown a real commitment to better customer service and diligent complaints handling — including actively engaging with the ombudsman — cases are resolved more quickly and easily, to the benefit of everyone.”

Lloyds TSB Bank had the highest number of PPI cases referred to the ombudsman of any institution during the second half of the year, but the ombudsman found in the customers' favour in 86% of the cases against the bank.

This was a higher level than all of the other major UK banks.

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