It has been recognised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) that banks have mis-sold a variety of products, collectively referred to as interest rate hedging products (IRHPs), to businesses. Indeed some official reports state that SMEs have been mis-sold an IRHP in 91% of cases. These products include structured collars, swaps, simple collars and caps.
This mis-selling scandal is long-running. According to the FCA, nine banks started reviewing their IRHP sales dating back to 2001 with the review process starting in 2013.
A FCA review identified failings in how banks had been selling IRHPs and the authority has worked hard to ensure redress is paid to those businesses mis-sold IRHP products. But the banks are now playing games with the litigation process itself, finding every excuse to drag out cases to delay paying compensation, meaning many of their small business opponents struggle to survive as they wait for justice. And when compensation is paid, the bulk of this only covers direct loss caused by the IRHP and not consequential loss – again leaving businesses out of pocket.
At Wenta we are in the midst of litigation against RBS and NatWest as we believe the evidence is clear: we were mis-sold an IRHP.
Our campaign, IRHP Justice Now, is designed to shine a spotlight on the fact that this mis-selling scandal is still an ongoing issue for many other businesses and can unfairly impact SMEs in particular, as many simply don’t have the resources to run litigation as we can. These are classic David v Goliath cases and we think it is time justice is given to the many businesses still impacted by IRHP and failing to get the compensation they deserve. Our lawyers, LEXLAW, who specialise in challenging bullying bank behaviour in court, have also launched a petition for the introduction of a Financial Services Tribunal which could offer judicial scrutiny over the financial services industry and oversee proper redress for those affected by complex mis-selling or poor treatment by the banks.
We've received great PR and media coverage already for the campaign. Take a look below:
The current ombudsman scheme is inadequate and the FCA is ill equipped to deal with cases involving complex financial instruments.
We're leading a petition to get this changed. Click on the button below to sign the petition and help us bring justice to SMEs across England.