By Daniel Hunter

The financial ombudsman says PPI mis-selling claims are becoming more complex and hard fought.

The ombudsman said the number of new complaints about PPI were "levelling off" in 2014, but more than two thirds of all financial complaints were about PPI.

Between July and the end of December 2014, there were 104,877 complaints made about PPI. The financial ombudsman received 161,649 complaints overall.

The ombudsman, which deals with complaints that cannot be resolved between the organisation and the consumer, has found in favour of consumers in 52% of cases.

"PPI complaints still make up the bulk of the ombudsman's workload and resolving these cases remains a priority," said chief financial ombudsman Caroline Wayman.

The latest figures from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) shows that financial institutions have paid out more than £18bn in compensation for PPI mis-selling since January 2011.

"In areas outside PPI, we continue to see many entrenched disputes that could have been avoided," Ms Wayman said.

"We're also hearing dissatisfaction from people where their problems started with a simple misunderstanding. On these occasions, problems could often have been cleared up much earlier, if there had been better communication between the financial business and their customer.

"It will take time to rebuild people's trust and confidence in the financial sector. And a first step towards this is for all businesses to show they've dealt with their customers' complaints thoughtfully and with care."