Act fast or lose compensation

Picture: Malcolm Wells

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PEOPLE who were mis-sold complex insurance deals need to act fast or miss out on compensation, says a Portsmouth solicitor.

An investigation by the Financial Services Authority has found that 90 per cent of so-called swap deals investigated broke banking rules.

Now the four big banks involved – Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and the Royal Bank of Scotland – have been ordered to work out which of their customers have been affected, including tens of thousands of small businesses, and how much they have lost.

‘The results of this pilot survey were not unexpected, but are nonetheless shocking,’ said Nigel Cole, Verisona director.

He is also a member of the firm’s specialist bank mis-selling team, set up in the wake of this issue.

He added: ‘The FSA has made a positive decision to widen the criteria of those who deserve compensation to include small businesses, but there are two important factors that need to be addressed.

‘One is that the study only looked at sales to unsophisticated clients – the definition of which has yet to be clearly established – and the second is that nothing has been said about cases outside the six-year limitation period.

‘The current problem is that, in our experience over the past few months, the banks seem in no hurry to process individual case reviews, so potential claimants need to be make sure that their cases do not run over the statutory deadlines.

‘We are helping clients work out when their potential mis-selling took place, the date of the trade agreement and the subsequent statutory deadlines for any claim process.

‘Small businesses that are already under a lot of pressure trying to cope with the level of swap payments need help to take a more proactive approach, rather than sit back and wait indefinitely for the major banks to process their case reviews in their own time. This delay could prove fatal to bringing a successful claim if the bank’s proposals are unsatisfactory.’