What can businesses do about it?
This is a big issue for many customers who feel they are "locked into" the arrangements with their bank. Customers are concerned if they take action or complain, their bank may respond aggressively, which in turn may put the business
under even greater financial pressure, at a time when many businesses are already struggling in this difficult economy.
In the circumstances, complaints and issues should be raised after taking full advice and with some caution. Most customers will aim to negotiate a resolution with their banks, often in relation to new or extended facilities, or
with a view to renegotiating any exit fee. This will enable customers to maintain relationships with their funding banks rather than becoming embroiled in legal proceedings. If the bank's internal processes do not assist, mediation may be a useful alternative,
and in some cases, litigation may be necessary.
We are experienced at advising at all levels of negotiation and our preferred option is to become involved at the outset if at all possible, when the range of options available is at its greatest.
A compensation scheme has now been agreed by the four high street banks (HBOS, Lloyds, RBS and Barclays) for some customers. This will not apply to all interest rate swap products and it is unclear at this stage how the scheme
will operate in practice.
What is clear, however, is that customers cannot afford to delay. Some claims will become statute barred, such that the customer will no longer be able to take action against the bank and it will be important to assess the strength
of your claim and how best to secure compensation now.
For further information as to how you can ensure that your complaint is dealt with by the bank as a priority, please contact Alison Loveday on 0161 833 9211 or by email to