FARMERS have had to sell land to continue payments for financial products they were mis-sold by banks, a campaigning York lawyer claims.
Johanne Spittle, of Lupton Fawcett Denison Till, represents many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and individuals in claims for mis-sold bank interest rate hedging products.
She said that delays in the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) redress scheme are leading to her clients having to continue to make payments in connection with the products that they will eventually get refunds on. In some cases Yorkshire farms have had to sell land that has been in the family for generations, in other cases, businesses have had to take out further borrowing to meet the payments.
Ms Spittle said: “Seventeen months after the FCA and banks agreed on the redress scheme, a maximum of only 25 per cent of cases for businesses for which this applies have been assessed.
“I have clients who submitted cases to the banks in April 2013 but have still not been assessed; those which have been assessed, and been paid ‘initial redress’ still await consideration of consequential loss claims where they have suffered other financial losses as a result of having the derivative payments deducted.
“This is not my idea of rapid.”
The lawyer, who is one of several specialising in interim rate swap agreement (IRSA) cases, said her clients have received interim redress settlements ranging from £82,000 to £300,000, with some total claims excluding consequential loss claims reaching more than £1 million.
She said: “My experience, and that of other IRSA Solicitors Group lawyers, is that the FCA Redress Scheme is badly failing large numbers of SMEs who were mis-sold these products and this has considerably added to their difficulties at a difficult time for the economy.
“Regrettably, many have had to resort to the courts to get redress that reflects their actual loss.”