For a long time now there has been widespread concern amongst small businesses affected by Interest Rate Hedging Products (IRHP) mis-selling with the way certain banks have been implementing the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Review process, often resulting in less than adequate redress offers.
The disclosure of the agreement between the banks and the FCA following the forced publication of several documents following the Treasury Select Committee’s involvement earlier in the year set out that, when reviewing the sale of IRHPs, the banks had to take into account the Sales Standards which included the Regulatory Requirements – essentially the Conduct of Business Sourcebook (COBS or COB) rules – and that a breach of those rules meant that there was in effect a mis-sale.
There are various rules which have been systematically breached during the sales process, foremost amongst them is a perception from the start that that the sale was non-advisory, despite the evidence and, therefore, the banks had an obligation to make sure the product was suitable even on non-advisory sales the bank should have provided prominent risk warnings.
During a recent meeting with RBS, the bank informed us that the COBS rules were “irrelevant” for the purposes of the Review.
The bank has since confirmed in writing that “the review is undertaken on the basis of the sales standards agreed with the FCA and no determination or admission is made concerning any alleged failure to comply with laws or regulations”.
We view this to be going against the FCA Agreement and calls into question the way RBS, in particular, has carried out its Review.
We have written to the FCA making them aware and requesting they take action. A copy of our letter can be read here.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers have an expert team of Group and Specialist Litigation Solicitors who can advise you if you've been affected by Interest Rate Hedging Products (IRHP) mis-selling.
For more information call us on freephone 0800 916 9015 or contact us online and we will call you.
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