A few years ago, it came to light that businesses were sold potentially disastrous interest rate swaps by high street banks.
Rather than protecting businesses from changing interest rates, these swaps left companies vulnerable to rate movements and 14,000 firms have claimed a combined £1.8 billion in compensation.
If you believe you were pressured into accepting an interest rate swap that left your business exposed to risk, you can contact First4lawyers to find out if you have a case for compensation.
What are mis-sold interest rate swaps?
Since 2001, a number of major banks have been found to have aggressively sold products to individuals and small businesses on the premise they would protect customers from loan repayments becoming too high in the event that interest rates increased.
The swaps were presented in the form of a fixed-rate loan, but the real outcome of the product depended upon the bank making a risky bet on the movement of interest rates. The end result for many companies was a significant loss, while the banks made a profit.
It later came to light that banks failed to properly explain the product to their customers. Banks implemented clauses that meant they could easily escape the agreement if it looked like it would not be profitable to them, while customers faced a hefty fee if they wished to do the same.
What are the defences to mis-sold interest rate swaps?
With so much money already paid out in damages to the businesses and individuals who were mis-sold interest rate swaps, banks are working hard to resist further allegations of mis-selling.
One factor that banks have used to successfully dismiss cases is the date of the sale. If you were mis-sold a swap more than six years ago, your bank may argue that the claim is time-barred, so it is important to act quickly if you suspect that you may be the victim of mis-selling.
In the event that you make a claim against them, your bank will thoroughly review the details of your case in order to find a point around which to build a defence. As such, it is vital that you ensure the solicitor acting for you is just as detailed in their exploration of your case, so that it’s as strong as possible and the proof of mis-selling is difficult for the bank or the courts to refute.
What are the remedies for mis-sold interest rate swaps?
The remedies include damages, refunds of payments that you made, and compensation for losses incurred by you or your business.
Banks were expected to pay out as much as £1.5 billion as a result of mis-selling claims made against them, and some estimates put the total figure owed to small and mid-sized businesses much higher.
I think I may have been mis-sold an interest rate swap – what should I do?
You can contact First4lawyers to arrange for a full review of your claim and an assessment of how likely you are to be successful in winning damages or compensation.
To have your case for a mis-sold interest rate claim reviewed by a solicitor with a track record of experience in this area, call First4lawyers, or use the Request a Callback button at the top of the page and we’ll be in touch soon.