DATE PUBLISHED: 11 Mar 2016 LAST UPDATED: 17 May 2024

Ellis Jones reclaims over £20 million for victims of bank mis-selling

Ellis Jones Solicitors has handled over 125 cases involving the mis-selling of interest rate hedging products (IHRP) and has successfully reclaimed more than £20 million for clients.

Ellis Jones believes it has the third largest case load of IRHP mis-selling cases in the country and it has more than doubled its specialist team to 11 to deal with the workload.

The firm’s clients include care home owners, caravan park operators, hoteliers, pub owners and property developers on a national basis, although a number are from Dorset and Hampshire.

William Fox Bregman, who heads Ellis Jones’ specialist banking and finance department, said: “By any standards reclaiming more than £20 million for clients is a major milestone and one we are very proud to celebrate.

“We pride ourselves on delivering a high quality city service but at a regional cost. It is this approach which has helped us win the level of work in this specialist area of law.”

The mis-selling involves fixed rate loans, tailored business loans, and interest rate hedges, a complicated form of derivative sold to small and medium sized businesses.

Often known as ‘interest rate protection’ they were sold by the UK’s biggest banks on the basis that they would act as a hedge or a form of protection against a rise in interest rates.

However, due to the complexities of the structured product, the customer often did not appreciate – or was not even aware – of the significant risk they were taking on.

Ellis Jones’ specialist team is advising on cases where the client’s exit fee under the swap regularly exceeds £600,000 and in some cases several millions.

The exit fee can be triggered simply by the sale of the business and/or repaying the loan.

William, who joined Ellis Jones in 2007 and was made a Partner in 2013, said: “Our banking and finance litigation department boasts considerable expertise in this area of the law and continues to expand as instructions increase.

“The team has doubled in size with four solicitors, four paralegals and two legal assistants. We deal with all forms of financial mis-selling, high value injunctions, derivative litigation, corporate disputes and pension issues.”

The Financial Services Authority – now known as the Financial Conduct Authority – first announced in 2012 that it had identified failings in the way that banks sold interest rate hedging products to customers.

Eleven UK banks subsequently agreed with the FCA to review the sale of IRHPs to certain customers from December 1, 2001, onwards.

Ellis Jones has acted for more than 60 clients in relation to the review specifically and has significant knowledge of the regulatory rules surrounding it.

The firm has the expertise to compile detailed written submissions outlining relevant breaches by the banks in question as well as outlining a client’s legal entitlement to consequential losses.

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