Discretionary Commission Arrangements - Complaints and Refunds

You do not need to use a Claims Management Company. You can make the claim directly to the lender and if they reject your complaint you can take it to the Financial Ombudsman Service free of charge, but you must do this within 6 months of the lenders Final Decision Letter.

Mercedes-Benz Financial Services and the Discretionary Commission Arrangement

Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, similar to other automotive finance providers, previously engaged in discretionary commission arrangements. These arrangements allowed brokers, such as car dealerships acting as credit brokers, to adjust the interest rates offered to customers, with their commission linked to the interest rate. Essentially, the higher the interest rate, the more commission the broker would receive. This practice, known as a discretionary commission arrangement, was common in the automotive finance industry but raised concerns due to its potential impact on the fairness and transparency of finance offers to consumers.

Regulatory Responses and Changes

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK has scrutinized these practices closely. In response to findings that discretionary commission models led to higher finance costs for consumers, the FCA banned these arrangements effective from 28 January 2021. The ban was part of a broader effort to ensure fairer treatment for consumers by removing incentives for brokers to increase finance costs through higher interest rates​​. Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, in line with the FCA's regulations, ceased these practices from the specified date, meaning any finance agreements entered into from that point would not involve discretionary commission arrangements​​.

The Financial Ombudsman Service's Role

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) plays a critical role in addressing complaints related to car finance agreements, including those involving discretionary commission arrangements. The FOS handles complaints from consumers who believe the way their car finance agreement was arranged was unfair or that the commission wasn't properly disclosed, impacting the interest they paid or the type of loan they received. In many cases, consumers felt that they were not informed about the commission the broker would receive from the lender, leading to concerns about impartiality and fairness​​.

Temporary Complaint-Handling Rules

As part of its ongoing review and to ensure fair compensation for consumers potentially affected by past practices, the FCA introduced temporary complaint-handling rules. These rules extend the timeframe for businesses to respond to complaints and for consumers to refer their complaints to the FOS. Specifically, businesses may now have up to 45 weeks to send their final response to complaints, and consumers have up to 15 months from the date of the final response to refer their complaint to the FOS. This approach aims to ensure thorough investigation and fair resolution of complaints related to discretionary commission arrangements that were in place before the 28 January 2021 ban​​.


The actions taken by the FCA and the support from the FOS signify a significant shift towards ensuring greater fairness and transparency in the car finance market. Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, along with other finance providers, has adapted to these regulatory changes, promoting a more consumer-friendly environment. The ban on discretionary commission arrangements underscores the commitment of regulatory bodies to protect consumers and ensure that finance agreements are made in their best interest, devoid of conflicts of interest that could lead to unfair financial outcomes.