The FOS received 172 new complaints against Sesame in the first half of 2015, a fall of about 13% compared to the same period last year. A total of 80 complaints were for life and pensions decumulation, and 38 were investment-related.
In March, the Friends Provident-owned company revealed it was closing its network for investment advisers.
A spokesperson from Sesame Bankhall Group said the company takes all complaints “extremely seriously”, but said the referral of 172 cases represents a “tiny proportion” of the business its members write each year.
“Sesame has also seen an improving trend, with a reduction in FOS referrals year on year, along with an uphold rate that remains low, with around three quarters of the Sesame complaints referred to the FOS rejected.”
The spokesperson said Sesame regularly reviews its assessment standards, including feedback from the FOS, to ensure its approach is accurate and reflects current practice: “We are satisfied that the procedures we have in place ensure a consistent and fair approach to complaint handling and treating customers fairly”.
Network rival Openwork, owned by Zurich, was the second most complained about advisory company, with 111 complaints made against it during the first half of the year.
Again, the majority of its complaints – 34 in total – came from the life and pensions sector.
Interactive Investor Trading, the online financial services firm, garnered 76 complaints, with the vast majority relating to investment.
St James’s Place Wealth Management came in fourth with 70 complaints. The data shows an almost equal spread between the investment and life and pensions sectors, having received 25 and 24 complaints retrospectively.
Overall, the ombudsman saw a rise of 8% in the number of complaints received against banks, insurers and other financial businesses in the first six months of 2015, totalling 173,994 compared to 161,649 in the second half of last year.
The majority of cases referred to the FOS were for payment protection insurance (PPI), which made up 55%. However, the number of new PPI complaints fell by 10% to 94,091.
For complaints about financial products other than PPI, the number increased to 79,550, a rise of 45%.
The ombudsman said this was largely due to the increase in complaints about packaged bank accounts brought by claims-management companies during this period.
Despite the fall in PPI complaints, chief ombudsman Caroline Wayman said the decline has “not been as steady or as marked as generally expected”.
She said: “Nobody wants ‘another PPI’. This is why we’re working closely with businesses, claims companies and their regulators, to make sure PPI is sorted as fairly and as quickly as possible for everyone involved – and that lessons are learned to prevent anything like this happening again.”
The FOS figures only cover financial businesses where at least 30 new cases were received within six-months and where 30 cases were resolved in the same period.