28Jan

High Complaint Uphold Rates for Credit Activity

FOS data shows high complaint uphold rates for credit activities

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has released details of the complaints it has received up to December 31 2014, representing the first three quarters of its financial year, which runs from April 1 to the following March 31.

The FOS can be asked to adjudicate on a complaint by any customer who is not satisfied with the way an authorised financial services firm handled the matter. It has found in the customer’s favour on 53% of complaints it closed between April to December.

The highest uphold rate for any single product area is 87%, for card protection products. Yet many of the next highest figures relate to consumer credit. The relevant figure for debt adjusting was 65%, for payday loans it was 66% and for credit broking 64%. Broking has also seen a significant rise in the numbers of people contacting the FOS, with 16,358 enquiries made in the period April to December, compared to just 6,376 in the whole of the previous 12 months.

The FOS has raised the issue of the activities of credit brokers, especially those in the payday loan sector, on previous occasions. Concerns have been raised about brokers charging fees to customers for whom they were unable to obtain a loan, and about brokers passing customer details to other brokers without permission.

Senior ombudsman Juliana Francis said:

 

“It’s disappointing to see that more and more people are being misled into thinking that these credit broking websites will get them a loan. In too many of the cases we sort out, no loan is provided and people’s bank accounts have been charged a high fee, often multiple times.”

Whilst consumer credit only became regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in 2014, the FOS has been able to adjudicate on credit complaints since 2007.

When judging complaints, the FOS does not just consider whether the firm complied with the rules that applied at the time. A key part of its assessment is whether the firm’s actions were ‘fair and reasonable’, which is in many ways similar to FCA Principle 6, which requires firms to treat customers fairly at all times.

Firms wishing to avoid having complaints upheld by the FOS should ensure that customers are treated fairly at every stage of the process. This includes:

  • Being transparent at the start of the client relationship regarding the services to be provided, the interest rates and required repayments, and the fees to be charged and how these are calculated
  • Not making misleading claims or statements in marketing communications or customer disclosure documents
  • Carrying out rigorous credit and affordability assessments before deciding whether to lend money
  • Ensuring that borrowers in arrears are dealt with compassionately

They should also ensure that their own procedures for assessing complaints and offering compensation are designed with the fair treatment of customers in mind.

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.

26Jan

Peer to Peer Mis-sold Lending Concerns

Mis-selling fears over P2P lending

The list of financial products which have been mis-sold in recent years is extensive, including: mortgage endowments, payment protection insurance, interest rate hedging products, card protection insurance, risky investments (especially in banks), annuities and packaged bank accounts.

Now some experts are predicting that peer-to-peer (P2P) lending could join the list.

P2P lending is a rapidly growing market. P2P firms act as an intermediary between wannabe borrowers and individuals wishing to lend. Individual lenders are attracted by the chance to earn returns that outstrip those available on savings accounts, while borrowers are attracted by the chance to borrow at lower rates than might be available on bank loans.

Trade association the Peer to Peer Finance Association (P2PFA) announced that P2P lending at the end of the first quarter of 2014 was £1,207 billion, compared to £491 million at the end of the same period in 2013.

It is the use of P2P lending as an alternative to a savings account which has aroused the interest of the regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It is concerned that some P2P firms are marketing their offering as a risk-free way of saving, and are sometimes even using the words ‘savings’ and ‘savers’ in their marketing communications. Lending via a P2P platform is in fact far from risk free, as the borrower could default on their repayments, and customers in this market sector do not have access to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme in the event of financial loss.

Firms can therefore expect the FCA to devote additional resources to reviewing P2P marketing material. Firms may therefore want to carefully check their own marketing material, possibly with the assistance of an expert third party consultant.

The FCA has said of the issue:

“The quality of the information provided to consumers in marketing is something that we concentrated on, and we have been working closely with peer-to-peer firms on this issue.

“Our supervisory teams regularly review the marketing of regulated firms, and where there are concerns they can ask for materials to be withdrawn or changed.”

Christine Farnish, chairman of the P2PFA, largely agreed with the FCA, suggesting that rogue firms could “bring the whole sector into disrepute”.

Ms Farnish added:

“You might get back a bit more than a bank, but it is more risky because people might default on loans. Even with responsible credit rating, you can still get things that go wrong. So you can’t assume you’ll get your capital back.”

P2P lending became regulated by the FCA on April 1 2014, at the same time as the FCA assumed responsibility for all areas of consumer credit. In many cases, the P2P firm is required under FCA rules to carry out the same duties a lender would, even though the firm does not actually lend money. For example, P2P firms have a responsibility to carry out creditworthiness assessments, and provide certain pre-contractual information.

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.

25Jan

Government Plans to Increase Bankruptcy Threshold

Government plans large increase in bankruptcy threshold

In January 2015, the Government announced plans to increase the bankruptcy threshold to £5,000. At present, individuals can be the subject of a bankruptcy petition over debts as small as £750, with this threshold having remained unchanged since 1986.

At the same time, the requirements for entering into a Debt Relief Order (DRO) will be relaxed, with the aim of making a DRO a viable and less damaging alternative to bankruptcy for many more people. The maximum debt that can be covered under a DRO will rise from £15,000 to £20,000; and the maximum value of assets that a DRO holder can have will rise from £300 to £1,000. If the individual owns a vehicle of up to £1,000 in value, then this does not need to be included in the asset limit. The requirement for DRO holders to have no more than £50 per month of income left after essential expenses have been accounted for is expected to remain unchanged.

The Government estimates that 3,600 more people will be able to enter a DRO each year as a result of the changes.

The proposals have been driven by a consultation exercise carried out by the Insolvency Service, where several debt charities and other organisations expressed a wish to make changes of this type.

Firms who currently offer debt management solutions need to be aware of the likely changes to the DRO requirements. This type of debt arrangement allows an individual to have their debts and interest frozen for 12 months, and to have their debts written off if their financial position has not improved by the end of this period.

Business Minister Jo Swinson MP said of the proposals:

“Struggling with unresolvable debt can cause immense stress for families. These changes will ensure that our debt relief schemes are updated so that they still meet their original goal of providing access to those who need them. They also ensure that bankruptcy, which has the most significant consequences, is reserved for those with sizeable debts.”

A spokesperson for debt charity StepChange welcomed the announcement by saying:

“An increase in the DRO maximum debt threshold and a higher creditor petition limit for bankruptcy is welcome news for people struggling with debt.”

The plans will require new legislation to be drafted and passed by Parliament, and the best estimate at present is that the new rules might become law in October 2015. The changes will only affect England and Wales, as insolvency legislation is the responsibility of the devolved administrations in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.

23Jan

Alternative Lending Rise with Payday Cap

Alternative forms of lending rise as payday cap bites

Guarantor lenders and pawnbrokers are amongst those reported to have benefitted from payday lending becoming less attractive in recent times.

Since January 2 2015, payday lenders have been subject to a charge cap. They can now charge only 0.8% interest per day, meaning that the repayment amount on a £100 loan taken out for 30 days, and repaid on time, cannot exceed £24.

Default fees are now capped at £15, while no borrower can ever be asked to pay more in interest and charges than the amount of their loan, regardless of how late the repayment is made.

David Patrick, chief executive of leading pawnbroker Cash Converters, has predicted that retail outlets that offer payday loans alongside other credit products will soon enter the market.

The UK’s largest payday lender, Wonga, has announced that it has reduced its daily interest charge from 1% to 0.8% in order to comply with the cap. This means that its Annual Percentage Rate has fallen from 5,853% to 1,509%, and that the repayment on a 30 day £100 loan is now £24 instead of £37.15. The lender has also reduced its default fee from £20 to £15.

The Consumer Finance Association (CFA) has said that all of its members, including Peachy, QuickQuid, Dollar Financial and The Money Shop, were all fully compliant with the new requirements.

“This is the start of a new era for short-term lenders who are operating in an entirely new lending landscape under the FCA”

said Russell Hamblin-Boone, chief executive of the CFA.

“We expect to see fewer people getting loans from fewer lenders and the loans on offer will evolve but will fully comply with the cap. The commercial reality is that the days of the single-payment loan are largely over – payday loans are being replaced by higher value loans over extended periods.”

It remains to be seen how many lenders can continue to operate a viable business now these restrictions are in force. When the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) first announced the details of the cap, it estimated that 70,000 people – 7% of current payday loan borrowers – would be unable to obtain a loan as a result. Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live’s breakfast show, FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley seemed relatively unconcerned about some firms going out of business. Reacting to suggestions that all but a few lenders would cease trading as a result of the cap, he said:

“I don’t think we’d have a problem if there was a lot less than [the current 70 or so active payday lenders] … provided that what was left was actually treating people responsibly.”

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.

21Jan

FCA Concerns over Payday Lending

FCA writes Dear CEO letter to payday loan firms

On January 21 2015, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) wrote a ‘Dear CEO’ letter to the chief executive, or equivalent, of each high cost short-term lender. The regulator’s definition of high cost short-term lending encompasses standard payday lending activities.

A Dear CEO letter is usually written when the FCA has concerns over compliance standards in a particular market sector. This Dear CEO letter has also been published on the FCA website.

This letter begins by highlighting to each firm when their allocated application period is. Any lender who has not applied to upgrade their existing interim permission to full permission by the end of this period will lose their authorisation to carry out consumer credit activities. Firms cannot get around this expiry date by simply ceasing to lend money, as the activity of maintaining a loan book is also a regulated activity.

The FCA also highlights that the firm’s level of compliance with the issues covered in the letter will be important considerations when an application for full permission is considered.

The first such issue is that of lead generation. If a firm accepts customer information from a credit broker or other third party, it must be satisfied that the broker firm has collected this information in an appropriate manner. Firms are also reminded of the requirement under Data Protection legislation to ensure that customer data is not passed to other parties unless it is absolutely necessary – one example of when it is appropriate might be passing the data to a credit reference agency. Firms should draw up an initial agreement with each customer, which should explain when data might need to be passed to third parties, and why this might be necessary.

Next, firms are asked to ensure they have robust systems in place for ensuring that all loans granted are affordable. The letter says that some lenders are apparently more concerned about considering the risks to the firm of non-payment, rather than the risks to the customer of payment difficulties and becoming over-indebted.

The issue of governance and controls is also covered in depth later in the letter. Firms are asked to ensure they have sufficiently robust systems & controls arrangements regarding:

  • Compliance with applicable regulations
  • The need to treat customers fairly
  • Information technology
  • Monitoring of any third parties to whom activities are outsourced
  • Recruitment – ensuring staff have the necessary skills, knowledge and experience
  • Risk identification and management

The letter identifies a number of issues around the topic of customers in financial difficulty. Firms are asked to ensure that:

  • They have systems in place that will allow them to identify these customers’ difficulties at an early stage
  • Conversations with these customers are geared towards exploring forbearance options rather than obtaining payments
  • Documented policies are in place regarding how the firm will deal with customers in difficulties
  • Customers in this situation are directed to sources of free debt advice as appropriate
  • They do not limit customers’ access to certain types of forbearance
  • All communications regarding this issue are ‘clear, fair and not misleading’ – the example given is of some firms failing to comply with this requirement by stating or implying that legal action to recover the debt may follow when this is not the case

Lastly, firms considering purchasing loan portfolios from other firms are asked to ensure that they comply with applicable legislation, such as the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999.

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.

19Jan

Debt Charity Releases Action Plan on Problem Debt

Debt charity publishes action plan

In January 2015, debt charity StepChange released its ‘Action Plan on Problem Debt’. With a general election approaching, it calls on all political parties to carefully consider the findings.

Its ‘headline’ announcement to accompany the release of the plan is that for some 500,000 households, debt problems could be avoided if they had just £1,000 in savings set aside as an ‘emergency fund’. 27% of households do not currently have an emergency fund of one month’s income or more. StepChange is calling on the next Government to make provision for this in the auto-enrolment pension initiative, where a person’s contributions into their savings fund could be supplemented by contributions from their employer and from the Government. Alternatively, it suggests that the Government could contribute say, 20p for every £1 saved into an Individual Savings Account, in much the same way as tax relief is offered on personal pension contributions.

The report says that, despite the improving economic picture, 21 million people in the UK are struggling to pay their bills and 2.9 million people still have a serious debt problem. It also estimates that debt problems cost society as a whole some £8.3 billion. With all major political parties committed to some degree of austerity in the next Parliament, StepChange wants radical action to be taken to stop the problem becoming worse.

The charity’s other recommendations include:

  • Improving access to low cost credit for those on lower incomes, such as making low cost loans available through high street banks, community centres etc
  • Increasing the availability of free debt advice, such as by imposing a levy on credit providers to fund this advice
  • A clampdown on aggressive debt collection practices
  • Ensuring that entering into a formal debt solution does not damage an individual’s life chances
  • Protecting children from the harmful consequences of debt, such as by encouraging children to save, educating them about debt in schools and imposing restrictions on credit advertising where children are likely to see it

Mike O’Connor, Chief Executive of StepChange, said:

“With personal debt showing worrying signs of growing and millions of people living on a financial knife edge and at risk of serious debt problems, we are calling on potential governments to make tackling personal debt a national priority.  Encouraging more saving, especially by people on low incomes, is vital if they are to have a financial buffer to cope with financial shocks and avoid the slide into problem debt.

“In addition to encouraging more saving, in our action plan we are also asking potential governments to provide more support for people who want to tackle their debt problems, protect children and families from aggressive debt collection practices and ensure that people are helped to get back on their feet quickly following a financial crisis.”

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.

16Jan

Pensions Minister Proposes Allowing Annuities to be Sold

Pensions minister proposes allowing annuities to be sold

Steve Webb MP has engineered many changes to the pensions marketplace in the UK during his time as Pensions Minister. Now months before the end of the Government’s term of office, he has proposed one more radical idea – allowing holders of annuities to sell their plans in exchange for a cash lump sum.

Pensioners who took out annuities shortly before the Government announced the removal of restrictions on how retirement income is taken may feel aggrieved at having missed out on the new freedoms, and Mr Webb’s ideas appear to be aimed largely at this group.

Mr Webb said:

“I want to see people trusted with their own money wherever possible. I have already heard from people around the country who would like to see this change made. I want to see if we can get these freedoms extended to those who are receiving an annuity, but who might prefer a cash lump sum.”

Annuities are legally binding contracts, so once a customer has made a decision to purchase an annuity, and the cancellation period has expired, the decision is currently irreversible. Mr Webb is suggesting that annuities could instead be sold back to the provider, or on to another customer, but it remains to be seen whether there would be a market for these plans.

Kate Smith, Regulatory Strategy Manager at Aegon UK was one of those to suggest flaws in Mr Webb’s ideas.

“A lifetime annuity is priced on the life and medical conditions of that particular customer. So if it was sold on, the new risks and medical conditions would need to be re-priced in as part of the transaction. This might not turn out to be attractive to either the buyer or seller,”

said Ms Smith.

It remains to be seen whether Mr Webb’s ideas will become Government, or even party policy. Mr Webb, a Liberal Democrat, may also not be Pensions Minister, or even an MP, after the May 2015 General Election. However, he is in negotations with the Labour Party as well as the coalition parties regarding his proposals. Mr Webb has a solid understanding of finance, having worked at the Institute of Fiscal Studies before entering Parliament in 1997.

Annuity sales have plummeted since the new freedoms were unveiled in the 2014 Budget speech, despite the fact that they will remain the only way of obtaining a secure retirement income for life, without having to predict your own life expectancy. According to a report by Iress, after the March 2014 budget, annuity sales in June 2014 were down 58% on the start of the year.

Falls in annuity rates caused by a combination of longer life expectancy and the Government’s previous quantitative easing plan have also dented the popularity of these products.

If Mr Webb’s ideas do not come to fruition, the best option for existing annuity holders may be to investigate whether their annuity may have been mis-sold. Many pensioners either took out the annuity offered by their pension provider, unaware that they could have secured higher returns by shopping around; or else took out standard annuities when their health situation could have allowed them to benefit from an enhanced or impaired life annuity. In these circumstances, customers should complain to the firm that sold them the annuity, and then if necessary appeal the firm’s judgement of the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.

14Jan

New Pension Guidance Known as Pension Wise

Pension guidance service branded Pension wise

The Government has announced that the new guidance service on consumers’ retirement income options will be known as ‘Pension wise’.

The Pensions Bill is expected to complete its journey through Parliament in February 2015, and then from April 6 2015, all consumers who reach pensionable age will be able to withdraw as much or as little of their retirement savings as they wish. The first 25% of each withdrawal will be tax free and the remainder will be taxed at the individual’s marginal income tax rate. This means that, in the words of Pensions Minister Steve Webb MP, retirees could ‘buy a Lamborghini’ with their pension pot instead of using it to provide income throughout their later years.

At the same time as the changes come into force, a new guidance service will be offered to all retirees, explaining their options under the new regime. It is this service which is now known as ‘Pension wise’. Consumers will be able to access 45 minutes of free, face-to-face guidance from Citizens Advice, or can opt to receive the guidance via telephone from The Pensions Advisory Service. Online assistance will also be available.

The cost of delivering the project in the first 12 months is estimated at £35 million. Of this, 12% (£4.2 million) will be funded via a levy on the UK’s financial advisory firms. However, if it transpires that the total cost has been underestimated, then additional sums will need to be paid by advisers in next year’s levy. It remains to be seen whether the changes will result in financial advisers securing additional customers – will retirees be content with the basic guidance they receive under Pension wise, or will they wish to find out more and seek out professional advice? Some advisers are angered at needing to pay a further levy, when they already pay levies to fund the Financial Ombudsman Service, Financial Services Compensation Scheme and Money Advice Service.

The remaining £30.8 million of the cost will be paid in equal measures (£7.7 million each) by deposit taking firms, life insurers, portfolio managers and managers of investment funds.

Concerns have been raised about how prepared pension providers are for the changes. The Channel 4 Dispatches documentary of January 2015 revealed that one large provider is still proposing to make an annuity purchase the ‘default option’, i.e. if the customer does not contact the firm expressing a wish to take their pension savings in a different way, they will automatically receive an annuity from the firm, regardless of whether it represents a good deal.

The documentary also described the new freedoms as a ‘giant political experiment’.

The Government also announced that it will be a criminal offence to falsely claim to be providing the Pension wise service. Although the changes have yet to be introduced, many consumers have already received cold calls from companies offering pension reviews, some of which have been claiming to be offering the Government’s guidance service. In many cases, customers signing up to these bogus reviews have lost large sums as their pension funds are transferred to risky assets.

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.

12Jan

MOJ Issues Guidance to CMCs on New Complaints Regime

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has issued guidance to the claims management companies (CMCs) it regulates ahead of the forthcoming move of CMCs to the Legal Ombudsman’s jurisdiction.

The much delayed plan for customers to be permitted to refer complaints about CMCs to the Ombudsman finally comes into force on January 28 2015. A complaint made before this date can still be considered by the Ombudsman if the company’s final response letter to the customer is sent after the switchover date.

Perhaps the most important step CMCs now need to take is to update their complaints procedures, so that they clearly and unambiguously state that customers can refer complaints to the Legal Ombudsman, once the company has had an opportunity to look into the matter.

Customers of CMCs should be informed of the changes, and the MOJ asks that this is done on the next occasion that the company corresponds with a particular customer. So for example, a written paragraph could be added to all client letters, and a footer to any email sent.

When sending a final response letter, CMCs will need to make reference to the right to refer the matter to the Ombudsman, will need to state the time limit for referring the complaint (this is still to be determined) and will need to give the Ombudsman’s contact details.

The Ombudsman will also look at cases where the company has not sent its final response within eight weeks.

Companies will also need to train their staff regarding the changes.

During an investigation, the Ombudsman may make requests for paperwork or other information about a company’s dealings with the relevant customer, and the CMC will be expected to comply promptly with such requests.

The move will also, in one respect, reduce the powers of the Claims Management Regulator at the MOJ. The MOJ will no longer be able to request that companies apologise to customers or make refunds, as orders such as these will now be delivered by the Ombudsman where necessary. The Ombudsman will have the power to issue legally binding instructions to CMCs, under which they could have to pay up to £30,000 in redress to disadvantaged customers.

The Legal Ombudsman and the MOJ intend to work together under the new regime. For example, the Ombudsman may identify developing trends in the complaints received, and the MOJ may then use this information to take enforcement action against companies.

Fees to be paid by companies for funding the Legal Ombudsman service will be:

  • Turnover of under £5,000 – £75
  • Turnover of £5,000 to £14,999 – £150
  • Turnover of £15,000 to £24,999 – £250
  • Turnover of £25,000 to £74,999 – £340
  • Turnover of £75,000 to £163,636 – £540
  • Turnover of more than £163,636 – 0.33% of turnover up to £1 million, plus 0.22% of turnover between £1 million and £5 million, plus 0.18% of turnover above £5 million, all subject to a cap of £40,000.

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article. For more information, visit some of our other pages.

09Jan

FCA Director Speaks About Learning the Lessons of the Past

The issue of whether the financial services industry is learning from its previous mistakes was the centrepiece of a recent speech to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)’s Enforcement Conference.

The speech was delivered by Tracey McDermott, director of enforcement and financial crime at the FCA. She will shortly take up a new role as head of supervision and enforcement, effectively replacing director of supervision Clive Adamson, whose departure from the FCA has been connected in the media to a bungled announcement of a review into charges on old life insurance policies. In March 2013, the Daily Telegraph newspaper was briefed by an FCA employee that the regulator would be reviewing exit charges on some 30 million pension and savings plans sold by insurers, dating back to the 1970s. Six hours after publication, when the FCA finally admitted that the scope of the inquiry had been exaggerated in the briefing, the share price of many leading insurers had plummeted.

The first topic mentioned by Ms McDermott was the recent foreign exchange manipulation fines handed out to major banks. Noting that some of these failings occurred after the institutions had been fined for manipulation of the LIBOR interest rate, she said that the forex episode showed that the industry was “still some way short of the corner that needs to be turned.”

Ms McDermott noted that a common theme was emerging in statements put out by firms who had been subject to FCA enforcement action. The statements usually said:

  • The misconduct was down to a few individuals within the institution
  • These individuals had failed to act in accordance with the firm’s culture
  • The firm had learned lessons from the episode and taken steps to ensure that they would not occur again

The FCA director suggested that, instead of being the work of a few rogue staff, conduct failings were often due to the corporate culture. Individuals at the coalface, such as LIBOR submitters or forex traders, knew that their conduct was wrong, but also knew that their organisations would tolerate or even welcome their misconduct.

Ms McDermott likened the cultural change that she believes is necessary to the changes in thinking towards drink driving. Here, many people now see it as a moral issue, and the fear of being caught is not the only reason people abstain from drinking and driving.

Next she said that she rejected both the view that FCA fines were too large and impacted unduly on shareholders, and the opinion that they were too small and failed to act as a sufficient punishment or deterrent.

She revealed that she did not support calls for bankers and other key financial services staff to swear an oath, similar to the medical profession’s Hippocratic Oath. “Rather than an oath creating a culture, I believe it should be reflective of it,” said Ms McDermott.

In November 2014, the FCA imposed its largest ever fines on five banks, after they were found to have manipulated the foreign exchange markets. UBS was fined £233,814,000, Citibank £225,575,000, JPMorgan Chase £222,166,000, The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) £217 million and HSBC £216,363,000. This action came just over a year after banks including RBS, UBS and Barclays were fined by the FCA for manipulation of the LIBOR interest rate. The industry has also been beset by mis-selling scandals, from payment protection insurance (PPI) to interest rate hedging products and mortgage endowments. Some commentators are predicting that annuity mis-selling could eventually eclipse the scale of the PPI scandal.

For more information on other FCA-related issues, visit our page on authorisation.

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.

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