Banks 'Pay Up' Over Rate Swap Mis-Selling
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has come under fire after it confirmed just ten firms had agreed compensation with banks over the mis-selling of interest rate swaps.
The regulator announced that banks had paid out £500,000 to date but said the figure was set to rise rapidly as negotiations gathered speed.
The bill is the latest faced by banks, which have set aside £3bn to cover the costs of the mis-selling, who are at the same time also compensating customers for the payment protection insurance (PPI) scandal.
Two British banks have also been fined for manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor market benchmark.
Interest rate swaps, investigated by Sky News, were designed to protect smaller companies against rising interest rates but when rates fell, they had to pay large bills, typically running to tens of thousands of pounds.
In its first update on how banks are responding to claims, the FCA said that by the end of August 10 offers of redress had been accepted by businesses totalling £0.5m.
The FCA said another 210 offers of compensation were with customers and a further 1,700 were due to be sent shortly.
Barclays had reached the redress offer and acceptance stage for 92 sales, with 68 at HSBC, 13 at Lloyds and 20 at RBS.
The banks have taken on 2,800 staff to review more than 30,000 cases and the FCA expects most customers will be told by the end of the year about the result of their review.
More than 25,000 sales or 85% of the total are being assessed.
FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley said: "With 85% of cases now under review, banks have made progress.
"But like the thousands of affected small businesses, we want to see redress paid quickly to those who have suffered loss as the result of mis-selling."
The FCA's update was received with incredulity by a group campaigning for 40 thousand alleged victims of the rate swaps.
Bully-Banks accused the regulator of being "led by the nose by the banks" and failing in its duty to regulate them effectively.
It said that only 0.03% of victims had accepted an offer of redress and none had yet received a penny 14 months after it was ruled the products were mis-sold.