Managing Director Daniel Hall’s Top Tips on what to look out for if you suspect a TBL has been mis-sold
If you suspect you have been mis-sold your Tailored Business Loan by your Bank, one of the first things on your “to do” list, is to approach your bank to get them to release the documents they hold around the Tailored Business Loan or Interest Rate Hedging Product. I’ve seen many cases where businesses have approached their bank to complain without having gone through this initial first step. That’s not optimal, because you need to build your complaint with the facts to hand, as it will be more difficult for your Bank to refute your claim if you have taken this initial step.
You are able to get the documents relating to your Tailored Business Loan or hedging product by approaching your Bank. What you get back from the bank will depend on what type of entity you are.
Individual Sole Traders & Partnerships – You are entitled to submit a full Subject Access Request (SAR) which will cost you £10. The bank is then obliged to send you all the relevant information they have on file. SARs tend to contain more information than Requests for Information (see below).
Limited Companies & other entities – You are not entitled to receive a SAR from the bank. However, if you press the bank, they will usually release some documents, called a “Request For Information”. With a Request for Information (RFI), you are effectively relying on the goodwill of the bank to provide the documentation.
So when you receive your SAR/RFI from your Bank, is there anything you should be aware of? In short, Yes. I have listed below my 5 top tips for what you should be looking for.
- Be careful. Your Bank will most likely only release non-sensitive documentation, especially with a Request For Information, as it is a gesture of goodwill. The sensitive information, or information that will really help your claim, may never get disclosed. It is in the banks’ interest not to release this information.
- Product identification. The information contained in a SAR/RFI, should allow you to identify the exact type of Tailored Business Loan or hedging product that you have. Once you understand this, you can start building your complaint and why you think you have been mis-sold your Tailored Business Loan or hedging product. Identifying the product will also determine what avenue you should use to claim e.g. The Banks formal complaints process, the FCA IRHP Review Scheme, etc.
- Condition of Lending. Try to find if there is a condition of lending in the documents. Have a close look at the Facility Letter or Offer Letter under “Preconditions” or “Undertakings” for any wording relating to a requirement to “hedge” or “fix”. You need to understand this in order to start to position your claim.
- Correspondence. Look for documents that relate to correspondence, such as letters, emails, telephone calls. This will help you build up the picture for the ‘pre-sales’ process and ‘sales process’. Just because a certain document, such as a Product Fact Sheet, has been included in your SAR/RFI it does not mean that you have ever actually received this document. You are looking for evidence that the Bank actually provided you with these documents AT THE TIME of the sale.
- Undated Documents. Look out for any documents, fact sheets, bank papers, that do not contain a date. I have seen hundreds of instances where the bank has included a document purporting to explain break costs or economics costs using a fact sheet titled “What are Economic Costs?. However, this document does not contain any date, so is totally unreliable in terms of evidence. Do not assume that the bank provided this document to you in the past, during the sales process. Be very careful with this last one.
Here at allSquare we are experts in supporting these types of claims – including mis-sold business loans and mis-sold payment protection insurance. If you are unsure if you have a claim, please contact us today to discover more.
By Daniel Hall, Managing Director