Small businesses are rushing to file mis-selling claims against their banks before April, when the Jackson reforms make conditional fee agreements a less viable option.
Campaigning organisation Bully Banks, which has been co-ordinating information and campaigns on allegedly mis-sold interest rate hedging products, has urged its 750 members to begin claims. Around 28,000 such products were potentially mis-sold by banks to businesses.
Bully Banks chairman Jeremy Roe said: ‘The Jackson reforms will have an effect on CFAs and the after-the-event insurance arrangements claimants can make. That effect will be quite profound.’
To facilitate those claims, this week the group announced a deal for members, negotiated with national firm Russell Jones & Walker (RJW), to take interest rate swap claims on a 100% CFA basis. RJW has had 60 fresh enquiries from Bully Banks members that it expects to take on since the deal was announced, more than four times the number of cases the firm had previously dealt with.
RJW’s head of group litigation and commercial services, Fraser Whitehead, told the Gazette that while claims could not be run as an actual group action, commonalities would allow RJW to manage them ‘like’ a group action. ‘Although each case is fact-specific, they can be co-ordinated,’ he said.