The number of new cases involving captive motor finance companies to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) in the first half of 2016 was 39% higher than that recorded in H2 2015.

915 new cases brought to the FOS in the first six months of the year involved captive motor finance lenders, the vast majority of which involved complaints around credit.

Volkswagen Financial Services UK (VWFS) received the most new complaints, at 332, up from 181 in H2 last year.

Mercedes-Benz Financial Service also saw a big jump in complaints (from 80 to 125) alongside RCI Financial Services (up to 104 from 75).

BMW Financial Services, FCA Automotive Services, FCE Bank, and PSA Finance all also saw an increasing number of new cases, though the jumps were not as substantial.

GMAC was the only captive with more than 30 new cases to receive a smaller number of complaints in H1 2016 compared to H2 2015, with one less new case recorded.

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By GlobalData

To put these numbers in perspective, the total number of complaints to these companies only made a tiny proportion of total new cases in the period – 169,132 – and the FOS reported a total 3% increase in this number over the previous period.

Of the total cases referred to the ombudsman in the first half of 2016, payment protection insurance (PPI) made up 54% of new complaints. For complaints about financial products other than PPI, the number has increased by 8% to 77,751.

Chief ombudsman Caroline Wayman said: “Lots of factors can influence the complaints we see, from more people knowing about their rights when things go wrong to external factors like volatility in the stock market or extreme weather conditions. That’s why I believe it’s important that we continue to share our insights into complaints to help businesses to avoid the mistakes of the past.”