As concerns escalate regarding potential overcharging on car finance agreements, car finance firms in the UK are confronting the possibility of a significant surge in compensation claims, with the number potentially doubling compared to previous estimates.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is currently investigating whether car finance companies unfairly levied excessive fees on loans obtained between 2007 and 2021, with particular attention on concealed commission arrangements.

Simon Evans, head of the Consumer Redress Association, representing claims management companies (CMCs), highlights the looming surge in claims. He underscores that many consumers may have purchased multiple vehicles during the reviewed period, potentially doubling the number of claims and posing a substantial challenge for car finance firms.

Consumer advocate Martin Lewis recently disclosed that over 1.1 million complaints were lodged through a free tool on, signifying widespread apprehension. Lewis suggested that the potential doubling of car finance mis-selling payouts could rival the monumental compensation payouts seen in the PPI scandal.

Evans underscores the profound impact on car finance companies, stressing the significant challenge ahead as they grapple with the potential surge in compensation claims and associated administrative tasks.

While Nikhil Rathi, CEO of the FCA, acknowledges the gravity of the issue, he cautions against direct comparisons to the PPI scandal, noting the regulatory body’s earlier intervention.

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Financial institutions such as Lloyds Banking Group and Close Brothers Group have proactively made provisions for potential costs linked to the FCA’s review, encompassing compensation and administrative expenses.

With the FCA set to outline its next steps regarding the investigation by the end of September, car finance firms are bracing themselves for the potential onslaught of claims and intensifying efforts to address consumer grievances and regulatory compliance.

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