Interest Rate Hedging Mis-Selling

Jan Samuel  13-11-2015

What are interest rate swaps?

Interest rate swaps are complex financial products. They were sold to individuals and small businesses by banks from 2005 onwards. Figures from the Financial Conduct Authorty suggest that around 40,000 of these products have been sold throughout the UK.

The products were sold on the basis that customers would be protected against rises in interest rates. Customers were led to believe that these products were like fixed rate loans. In actual fact, they were highly complex interest rate betting arrangements, which could have dire consequences for the bank's customers, if interest rates dropped. 

When interest rates fell to historic lows, many of the bank's customers suffered financially, with huge numbers suffering large losses, going bankrupt or into liquidation. The banks on the other hand made huge profits from these products. 

Many of the bank's customers alleged that they were forced into the products, and that they didn't understand what they were buying into, and the Court has historically had sympathy with those affected.

What can you do?

If you or your business was sold an interest rate hedging product, you could have a claim against your bank. 

The Financial Conduct Authority ordered the banks to set up a review system, the purpose of which is to consider the way in which the products were sold, and offer compensation to affected customers.

If customers have claims worth over £150,000, they may still have to go through the court claims system to recover their losses.

What next?

Provided that you or your business took out an interest rate hedging product in the last six years, and suffered losses as a result, you could have a claim against your bank.

Samuels Solicitors has been advising clients in relation to commercial claims for over 25 years. We appreciate that if you or your business has suffered financially, you may not be in a position to payup front legal fees. This is why we have developed a range of flexible funding arrangements for clients with strong cases, which can include conditional (no win no fee) agreements. 

Contact us today to see how we can help.