Swaps mis-selling

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English Court of Appeal judgment recognises the importance of industry standard ISDA Master Agreement terms when challenged by a competing jurisdiction clause in a financing agreement

The Court of Appeal has confirmed that a jurisdiction clause that elects the English courts in an ISDA Master Agreement prevails when the underlying swap transaction forms part of a wider financing arrangement that is subject to the jurisdiction of the Turin courts: BNP Paribas SA v Trattamento Rifiuti Metropolitani SPA [2019] EWCA Civ 768.… Continue Reading

First major LIBOR rigging claim dismissed by Financial List judge: speedread

After a 38 day trial, Mrs Justice Asplin handed down a 187 page judgment just before Christmas in the long-running Property Alliance Group Ltd v The Royal Bank of Scotland plc case. She rejected claims of mis-selling, breach of good faith obligations and misrepresentations associated with LIBOR. Property Alliance Group sued RBS over four interest … Continue Reading

Closing out derivative contracts following Brexit

Since the shock Brexit vote on 23 June there have been big movements in a number of financial markets, as participants of all types reposition themselves for the period of uncertainty that the leave vote has ushered in. Regardless of the eventual terms of a UK exit from the EU, market movements that have already happened can be … Continue Reading

Court stays claim to facilitate use of the Financial Ombudsman Service

The claimants in Templars Estates Ltd and others -v- National Westminister Bank Plc and another (10 June 2016) had issued court proceedings against two banks alleging negligence in relation to advice given about interest rate hedging swaps. The trial was unlikely to be listed until sometime in 2018. They sought a stay of proceedings in … Continue Reading

Judge dismisses application on mis-selling and LIBOR manipulation claim

In an April 2016 Financial List decision by Mrs Justice Asplin in Diane & Michael Hockin and Lonwest Ltd v Royal Bank of Scotland plc and National Westminster Bank plc [2016] EWHC 925 (Ch), the Bank unsuccessfully applied for strike out of parts of the mis-selling claim issued against them by the Claimants. The Claimants had … Continue Reading

Government Increases the Regulation of Claims Management Companies

Claims Management Companies (“CMCs”) are businesses that offer legal claims management services to the public. Many CMCs typically process large numbers of complaints against financial services companies. PPI and interest rate hedging product complaints are of particular focus at present. In 2015, there were approximately 1,752 CMCs in the industry (down from a peak of … Continue Reading

LIBOR case transferred to Financial List

Last Thursday (28 January 2016) the Chancellor of the High Court, Sir Terence Etherton, ordered that Property Alliance Group’s ongoing £89 million claim against the Royal Bank of Scotland should be transferred to the Financial List. The case relates to allegations of mis-selling of four interest rate swaps, and includes claims that the swaps should be … Continue Reading

High Court Provides Further Clarity on the Extent of Litigation Privilege

The recent High Court decision in Property Alliance Group Ltd v Royal Bank of Scotland clarifies the meaning of the “dominant purpose” test in the context of the litigation privilege definition, and how it is applied where a party has obtained recordings of conversations through deception. Background The Court granted RBS’s application to inspect audio … Continue Reading

More Fuss About the FOS

At the end of last month, the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) released a discussion paper concerning its approach to small or medium sized enterprises (“SMEs”) as users of financial services. As part of this, the FCA seeks industry feedback on whether it should change the rules concerning the jurisdiction of the Financial Ombudsman Service (“FOS”). … Continue Reading

Good News for Financial Institutions as High Court Rejects Request for Specific Disclosure of Similar Complaints in a Swaps Mis-Selling Claim

Investment mis-selling claims remain a prominent feature of the litigation landscape, particularly when it comes to interest rate swap products. In our experience, claimants often ask for specific disclosure of similar customer complaints by defendant financial institutions, in an attempt to strengthen a weak claim or to try to embarrass the institution into settlement. Compliance … Continue Reading

Are banks’ internal investigations still privileged?

Financial institutions have developed a trusted template for responding to recent major regulatory controversies. Faced with a regulatory investigation, banks today will usually form an internal working group to take ownership of the issue. That working group will in turn hire a law firm to carry out an internal investigation and report back. The bank … Continue Reading

Graiseley and Unitech: four things you didn’t know about the LIBOR cases

Introduction The recent Court of Appeal decisions in Graiseley Properties v Barclays Bank and Deutsche Bank v Unitech have understandably been attracting much attention and comment. Certainly, if Graiseley’s and Unitech’s LIBOR-based cases were to succeed at trial, the implications for trillions of pounds worth of LIBOR-related debt obligations and derivatives are truly mind-boggling.  But … Continue Reading