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The Fact-Finding Meeting

Interest Rate Swap Mis-selling Review - the Fact-Finding Meeting.

When you have opted in to the review, you will be invited to have a face-to-face meeting or teleconference in order to gather the facts of the case.

These meetings have been described to us by those who have experienced them as formal, even intimidating. It is vital that you understand the importance of this meeting and are fully prepared.

The meeting will be recorded and will typically be two to three hours long. There will usually be two people representing the bank, who could be bank employees, consultants or lawyers. In addition there may be an independent reviewer who will observe the meeting.

Following the meeting the bank will assess the case and if appropriate, agree suitable redress which must be approved by the independent reviewer.

The bank will consider anything you say during the meeting to be ‘with prejudice’, that is, the bank can rely on anything you say to determine the outcome. The bank’s line of questioning may be designed to undermine your case. It is well worth asking in advance for copies of all paperwork they hold on your case, in order to be prepared for any issues where your account differs from theirs.

Expert advice on interest rate swaps is key

The banks appear keen to stress that this is a simple process, and customers do not need specialist advice. This could appear disingenuous, given that the basis of the review is the sale of highly complex derivative products to non-sophisticated small businesses. The banks are going into these meetings fully represented. We believe you should ensure you are represented by experts in the sale of derivatives, who are fully aware of the regulatory framework governing these sales, and can negotiate from an informed position without creating an adversarial situation between you and your bank.

Given that the bank will follow a pre-prepared line of questioning, it could be challenging for you to ensure your points are heard. It is also worth bearing in mind that you do not have to attend the meeting at all – you could opt to be represented by a written statement alone.

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