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Shareholder Dispute Unit - Taylors Solicitors Legal Services

Mis-sold Interest Rate Hedging Products Unit

The Mis-sold Interest Rate Hedging Products Unit of the Taylors’ Commercial Dispute Team is continuing its work to support clients who are participating in the Financial Conduct Authority Review of IRHPs and mounting litigation claims against the banks.

Whether you were sold a structured collar, swap, collar, cap or tailored business loan, we can help. Our team would be happy to hear from small and medium enterprises (“SMEs”) or their accountants, who may have been affected by interest rate hedging product mis-selling and wish to unravel the hedges and look to recover losses from the bank.

In mid-2012, the scandal of banks selling entirely inappropriate products to SMEs was revealed. Businesses of all shapes and sizes were sold IRHPs unwittingly and have suffered the consequences. SMEs have no reason to be embarrassed about admitting that they did not take advice before entering into these highly complex financial instruments: the IRHPs are sophisticated derivative products, on which many SMEs’ regular professional advisers were unlikely to be able to give detailed advice. IRHPs can theoretically be useful products for investment professionals but, for many SMEs, they were completely inappropriate.

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Tony Catterall
Senior Partner

Contact Details:

Office: 01254 297940
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Full Details for Tony Key Contact

Charlotte Barron

Contact Details:

Office: 01254 297943
Mobile: 07929 005851
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"Like many other SMEs, my business found itself caught up in the clearing banks' rate swap scandal. When buying a new warehouse, I was forced into a swap and told that my loan would be withdrawn if I did not agree to the swap.

We instructed Tony Catterall and his team to progress our claim for redress under the FCA scheme. I was delighted that in only three months, Tony and his colleague, Charlotte Barron, secured a redress offer fully compensating my business for the payments made under the swap, plus interest.

I would thoroughly recommend Tony and Charlotte to any SME in a similar position. The claim was processed more quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively than I had ever anticipated".

Robert Coupe
Oncore Foods Service Solutions Limited

"Euro Fence Coatings Limited instructed Taylors to pursue a claim against HSBC Bank plc for the mis-sale of two base rate collars. We received comprehensive and expert tactical advice from the team, who guided us through our options and were ultimately successful in obtaining over £445,000 for us in compensation from HSBC. We are grateful to Tony and Charlotte for their efficient and cost-effective service and for achieving an excellent outcome"

Nadim Jahangir
Euro Fence Coatings Limited

"Between 2005 and 2010 Windmill Childcare Limited was sold four Interest Rate Hedging Products by NatWest. I received very little information about the products and each was presented to me as a fait accompli. The IRHPs began to have negative consequences, particularly from 2008 onwards, cashflow disappeared and the bank sought to tighten its grip by transferring Windmill to its Global Restructuring Group (“GRG”).

In early 2013 when the Financial Conduct Authority Review of Interest Rate Hedging Products began, I decided that Windmill would participate in the Review and I felt confident that I did not need legal assistance. However on receiving the bank’s initial offer I approached Taylors and it soon emerged that NatWest had not taken a sensible or intuitive approach, failing to include the final IRHP in the Review, a cap, resulting in a potentially bizarre outcome.

Tony Catterall and Charlotte Barron were excellent in assessing my position and resolving the Review process. With their assistance Windmill received a significant sum in redress from NatWest. I would have no hesitation in recommending Taylors; they are considered and thorough in their advice, efficient and cost effective."

Ian Lightley
Windmill Childcare Limited

"My family pension scheme was sold a complicated Discounted Fixed Rate Range tailored business loan by Yorkshire Bank in 2008.

I was contacted by the bank which indicated that it would conduct a proactive review of the product sold to us, but it was clear that the bank would try to define the family pension scheme as a “sophisticated customer”. At this point I instructed Taylors Solicitors and was advised throughout the process by Charlotte Barron.

The bank accepted that we were not sophisticated and after attending a meeting with bank representatives and Charlotte, we received an excellent offer of redress in excess of the amount I expected. I think that the eventual sum received was due in large part to the advice and wise counsel I received from Taylors. I could not be happier with the result."

Mr P Nolan
Strathmore Pension Scheme

Some banks encouraged SMEs to sign up to IRHPs during a period of predicted financial instability, allowing customers to believe that interest rates were likely to go up, as they had in previous recessions. In fact, the banks’ internal predictions suggested that interest rates would decrease sharply. The profit margin for banks on these products was significant and a major contributor to the total profit made on lending transactions. Banks breached regulatory requirements, failing to provide fair & clear information and to ensure the suitability of the IRHPs sold to SMEs. Products such as swaps, collars and structured collars have left many SMEs locked into paying a high rate of interest, unable to benefit from the low base rates that the pas five years have brought.

For over two years, Taylors has acted for SMEs located in England, Scotland and Wales which have been affected adversely by the mis-sale of IRHPs and has successfully settled all of its completed cases with a number of the major high street banks including HSBC, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland. Our high level of success in these cases highlights that it is simply unnecessary for businesses that have been mis-sold IRHPs to enter into contingency agreements with “banking consultants” or claims management companies and be forced to share their compensation. Many of the businesses Taylors has successfully acted for were able to take advantage of less expensive funding options rather than entering into redress–sharing agreements. However, where a business has been so distressed financially by the mis-sale that it requires a ‘no-win, no-fee’ arrangement, we are able to offer funding options to suit its needs. The success enjoyed by Taylors’ clients demonstrates the effectiveness of our analytical approach to the redress process and clients can confidently expect to be compensated for the loss suffered as a result of the sale of these toxic products with our help.

We can assist you with the Financial Conduct Review of IRHPs so that you can recover basic redress and redress for consequential loss. We can advise you whether you should challenge the redress offer you have received, make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service on your behalf or commence Court proceedings. Irrespective of any outward appearance of a desire to help SMEs, banks accused of mis-selling IRHPs are doing all that they can to minimise their exposure: by excluding SMEs from the Review, when on any view they were non-sophisticated, offering “a swap for a swap” as basic redress, setting unrealistic time frames for the submission of consequential loss claims and refusing extensions of time. The banks should not be allowed to “get away” with this behaviour at the significant cost of the small business community.

Taylors is different from the vast majority of commercial law firms in that we do not have any allegiance to the banks. We are not on any “bank panels”. With our expertise, we can offer SMEs a resolute and comprehensive service. If your business has entered into an IRHP and you didn’t know what you were getting into, please get in touch.

Please contact tony.catterall@taylors.co.uk
or call 01254 297940.

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