Bank compensation for mis-selling hits £81.2m

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THE amount paid in compensation by banks over the mis-selling of interest rate hedging products reached £81.2m in November, new figures from the Financial Conduct Authority show.

The figure stood at £15.3m in October, the regulator said, adding that the data showed the pace of the banks’ reviews continuing to increase.

Clive Adamson, director of supervision at the FCA, said: “We will keep the pressure on to ensure they continue to move as quickly as they can.”

But Jeremy Roe, chairman at Bully Banks, which campaigns on behalf of victims of the mis-sellling of interest rate swap products by banks, told the Yorkshire Post he was concerned that the redress scheme was making “slow progress”.

He added: “It’s an extraordinary amount of time that’s been taken to deliver redress to people who have been mis-sold these products... the fact that we are now 17 months into the process is a scandal in its own right.”

The financial services regulator identified serious failings last year in the way some banks sold interest rate hedging products and those involved agreed to review the way sales of these products had been made to customers.

Hedging contracts were designed to protect UK borrowers against rising interest rates but ended up by costing them huge bills when rates fell.

The FCA’s latest figures showed that 76 per cent of the 18,400 customers invited to join the review so far had opted to do so.

Mr Adamson said: “Last month we wrote to the CEOs of the four major banks to re-assert our expectation that redress should be delivered to customers quickly and to agree practical ways to speed up the process.

“The banks’ responses have been positive, with three of the four major banks saying to us they now expect to complete all initial redress determinations by May 2014.”

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