Just a short update in regard to two meetings that three of Bully-Banks’ (BB) directors attended yesterday (24th July).
We met with Vince Cable (the Business Secretary), Greg Clark (the Financial Secretary to the Treasury), Tessa Munt MP and Martin Wheatley (Chief Executive of the FCA).
The meeting was called by Vince Cable and he began the meeting by asking BB to voice some of our concerns over the roll-out of the FCA's Review/Redress Scheme (“the Scheme”).
BB began by stating the overriding concern i.e. the time being taken by the banks to implement the Scheme. We again requested the imposition of “drop dead” deadlines within the Scheme to ensure that further delay is minimized.
We stated that there was still a real lack of-transparency in the Scheme. We had been promised regular reports from the FCA about the progress of the Scheme and to date no information had been forthcoming.
We re-stated our concern about the absence of a clear statement of what redress comprised. For example we expressed our grave concerns about any redress proposal that included the substitution of a mis-sold IRSA by another IRSA although for a shorter term. This was a fundamental issue for BB and any such redress was inappropriate. We also expressed grave concerns over the application of the 7.5% Rule and the current interpretation of this Rule by the FCA which bore no relation to the original explanation given by the FSA to BB on 31st January of this year.
We complained that the FCA was still stating that lawyers/advisors were not required in the roll out of the Scheme when from the transcripts of certain of the fact finding and redress meetings already held it was obvious that their advice was required.
On the subject of Consequential Losses we expressed concern that it appeared that the Banks were only now considering the treatment of the losses and what heads of damages should be included in such claims. The agreement of Consequential Losses in every case had the potential to cause significant delay in the resolution of this issue.
BB stated that the repayment of monies paid under a mis-sold IRSA and the agreement of the Consequential Losses arising, should be separated in the process. The repayment of monies paid under a mis-sold IRSA should be made immediately following agreement that a mis-sale had occurred and prior to the agreement of Consequential Loss.
The concerns expressed by BB were well received by the two Ministers present at the meeting who were supportive of BB’s concerns. Vince Cable’s comments made to The Telegraph following the meeting can be seen by HERE
Greg Clarke commented upon the role played by BB in raising the issue of the mis-sale of IRSAs and in the delivery of the Scheme and stated that BB had been “a force for good”.
Very significantly it was agreed that:
the FCA would issue a report on the role out of the Scheme and that this would be done in August. (BB urged that the report be on the basis of each bank’s individual performance and this was supported by the two Ministers present), and
the meeting with the current attendees would reconvene in September to review progress in the resolution of the issues raised and the roll out of the Scheme.
After this meeting we met with the manager in charge of the implementation of the Scheme at RBS and he explained the current status of the RBS roll-out. We were pleased to learn that RBS are making real progress towards the issue of its first offers of redress to its customers although no offers have yet been made by RBS. We do have concerns about one area of principle in the roll out of the Scheme by RBS but overall we did receive the impression that the roll out by RBS was receiving both resource and management focus and will start to deliver results to customers within the next two months.
With kindest regards,