The FCA has just provided an update on the review status of the 29,817 customers who have been sold interest rate hedging products.
The update includes data which is purported to be accurate as at 30 October 2013 and can be accessed through the following link.
It is notable from the published figures that, although 95% of nearly 30,000 customers were found to have been mis-sold IRHPs, barely over 1,000 have been made offers of fair and reasonable redress. Of those, a staggering one third have been offered an alternative product; in other words, the banks in question, supported by the independent reviewer, have determined that customers should not have been sold the toxic product they were sold but should instead have been sold a slightly less toxic product. Of those relatively few offers, unsurprisingly only 125 have actually been accepted by customers.
In September 2013 the FCA predicted that affected customers would be informed of the result of their review and would be in receipt of basic redress by the end of 2013. At the time that statement was made, it was abundantly clear to us, from dealing with the banks on a daily basis, that the FCA’s appraisal of the situation was unrealistically optimistic. It is almost two months on and off the back of the updated data the FCA has now had to concede that progress has been slower than expected, which is somewhat of an understatement given nearly 18 months have elapsed since the FCA announcement on the pilot findings that the vast majority of interest rate hedging products had been mis-sold.
As a result of the delay, the FCA has decided to write to 4 of the major banks in order to try and convince them to expedite the review process; this has resulted in agreements with some banks to split initial redress from consequential losses but it remains to be seen how long it will take the banks to resolve the consequential losses which undoubtedly will form a significant part of many claims made by customers.
To conclude its latest update the FCA states that the IRHP review has been set up to deliver fair and reasonable redress to customers without the necessity to hire lawyers. We believe that it is an absolute necessity for bank customers to seek legal advice as soon as possible. Here at Clarion we have a specialist team which has been set up to advise clients on IRHP claims and has developed significant experience in:
- Compiling complaints to maximise the chances of receiving fair and reasonable redress;
- Guiding clients through the bank’s fact-finding processes which invariably involve either face-to-face meetings or long telephone conversations where customers are, in essence, cross-examined by representatives from the banks; and
- Making sure that clients are not time-barred from bringing court proceedings against the banks, which is particularly important given that the banks are protracting the review process and where, as we anticipate, offers of redress will, for many, not be acceptable and clients will want to explore other avenues of redress.
If you have any questions please contact Dominic Blakeley on 0113 336 3365 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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