SWAP damages reviews – some inconsistencies causing concerns

More adverse press coverage is coming out about how the bank’s SWAP review processes are being undertaken.

Specifically there are concerns which are being pursued by the parliamentary group on swaps mis-selling (Chaired by Guto Bebb) that RBS has adopted a different approach to the other banks involved. These concerns have arisen from a review of the relative outcomes of the cases and some ‘whistle-blowing’ by the independent reviewers who have allegedly been put under pressure to alter their conclusions, particularly about whether the cost of an alternative product should be built in, which effectively reduces the amount of compensation offered to those affected.

A review of 500 cases would seem to support this suggestion, given that:

  • For RBS customers with a SWAP worth between £2m and £4.9m, only 12% received full compensation (in other words the compensation was either denied or offers were reduced by the cost of an ‘alternative product’ being imposed on the customer)
  • This compares to 65% of Barclays customers being offered full compensation, 89% for Lloyds and 63% for HSBC 
  • Those where the customer was offered another SWAP were 63% for RBS, 9% at Barclays and Nil for both Lloyds and HSBC.

Whistleblowing has been done by ex-reviewers, who may have a gripe of course (and it could only be one?). And the above survey was conducted by ‘Bully Banks’ the campaigner. RBS, the FCA and the independent reviewers (managed in the case of RBS by KPMG) have refuted these allegations but if the figures are right it is understandable why MP’s are asking questions.