Independent Banking Advisory Service
Established in 1992
UK Bank Litigation
IBAS is now in it's 25th year helping/guiding those with UK Business Banking disputes and Director's Personal Guarantee business debt claims - IBAS is the only UK non profit organization which provides business banking customers with specialist business banking assistance and specialist business banking guidance and also IBAS specialist business banking investigations.
IBAS business banking dispute negotiating experience has a proven strategy which provides claims and defences for business bank customers. IBAS has excellent banking investigation reputation and has featured on BBC TV, BBC TV News, ITV, Meridian and Sky News and contributed to editorials and articles for the Sunday Times, Times, Daily Mail, Daily Express and Daily Mirror.
RBS GRG & FCA investigation into GRG activities and customers losing their business and their assets
13th October 2016
1.1 In 2013, the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards (PCBS) recommended that banks put in place mechanisms to allow their employees to raise concerns internally (i.e. to ‘blow the whistle’). The Commission also recommended that banks assign the responsibility for overseeing the effectiveness of those arrangements to a senior person.
1.2 In October 2015, the FCA and the PRA introduced new rules requiring internal whistleblowing arrangements to be introduced by banks, building societies, credit unions and PRA-designated investment firms (collectively known as Relevant Authorised Persons, or “RAPs”), as well as insurers. (source FCA web site)
BBC Newsnight on 10th October 2016 - provided an exclusive RBS investigation and evidenced internal papers obtained from a ‘whistleblower’ regarding RBS Global Restructuring Group (GRG).
Mastercard facing £19bn damages claim over inflated card charges - The Company is alleged to have set unlawfully high fees for using cards in shops over a 16-year period The claim, led by former financial services ombudsman Walter Merricks – who has instructed US-based law firm Quinn Emanuel, is to be filed under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which allows for collective damages claims. Merricks said in a statement: 'The prices of everything we all bought from 1992 to 2008 were higher than they should have been as a result of the unlawful conduct of MasterCard. There is no question that MasterCard acted illegally in the way it conducted its business, a business that affects all of us. All of us over-paid to the tune of up to £19bn during a period lasting 16 years. My aim is to get the redress to which UK consumers are entitled and to ensure that MasterCard cannot hold on to the illegal profits it made. This case should send a signal to companies that break competition laws at the expense of UK consumers that they do so at their financial peril.'
MasterCard faces £19bn collective action over card charges - Millions of Britons could collect more than £450 each in a landmark legal case against MasterCard over a £19billion rip-off. The case revolves around the charges imposed by MasterCard on retailers for processing credit and debit card payments over 16 years. These 'interchange fees' were passed on to all shoppers regardless of whether they were MasterCard customers or not in higher prices on everything from a pair of shoes to the weekly groceries. Now the UK's former Chief Financial Ombudsman, Walter Merricks, is leading a class action lawsuit to get consumers their money back. - Daily Mail 05.07.16
IBAS Comment: MasterCard is the first big corporation to be sued under new UK laws allowing US-style class actions. Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan are issuing a £19bn claim against the financial services giant on behalf of British debit and credit card users hit with 'illegal' charges.
This claim appears to be the biggest in UK legal history and one of the first to be filed under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which allows 'opt-out' claims to be brought for the first time in the UK. It was previously extremely difficult to bring consumer claims against corporations in the UK as each individual would have had to 'opt-in' to the claim.
These US-style class actions require a representative which in this case is the former chief financial services ombudsman Walter Merricks. We look forward to this claim 'developing' into a payment for the benefit of all UK banking consumers who have been 'ripped off' by various bank card processing fees over a very long period of time. - 06.07.16
Even the most forgiving bank customer has been 'tested' by their bank's 'get rich quick' schemes over the past few years. Many customers have been driven to insolvency by the bank schemes (PPI, SWAPS and IRHPs plus overcharges on LIBOR and Base rates) and many businesses destroyed. IBAS has seen a great many such businesses and helped many to survive. Others now seek redress and IBAS can guide those with 'good' cases.
Despite all the publicity banks and bankers have still managed to get away with ever increased profiteering from their commercial customers. Up till the Jackson Report in December 2009 the UK legal system was heavily biased towards banks winning any legal claim because considerable funds were required to force a bank into a litigation or even to defend a bank's claim. Banks made the best of their position and litigated freely, taking personal assets and homes to repay borrowings as and when they demanded. Some of the 'demanded borrowings' were deliberately inflated prior to demand i.e. by overcharging, inflated fees, additional property valuations and by forcing bank 'advisors' onto the business at very high additional cost.
Access to Justice has in our opinion been a very poor companion to businesses in dispute with their bank for many years. Often the most considered factor for making commercial litigation claims prior to 2013 was the financial implication of being liable for all legal costs for both sides if the case was lost. Banks with support from Government and taxpayers, as well as their well tuned 'litigation machinery' and profit driven recoveries sections - made banking litigation for business banking customers in dispute with their bank a nightmare scenario.
It was the Jackson Report which legitimized the Litigation Funding industry from 2010 and allowed more options for UK Business banking cases to pursue justice. Business banking claims against any bank now will have a better opportunity and many will gain the ability to fund a properly constructed claim or defence to a bank's claim.
But, the availability of funding alone will not make a poor case into a good case. Many business banking complaints which IBAS receive also require specialist input and 'work' on the documentation and factual matters, banking procedures and bank record keeping, so they can be properly documented for the case to be progressed.
If litigation funding is required then 'polishing' of the 'rough diamond' is even more important because funders will assess cases for their funding with great care. That's because Litigation funding is a profit driven business and funders need to be sure their funds are properly allocated and protected.
Any application to obtain litigation funding requires careful 'case' analysis so that the case which 'presents' as a 'rough diamond' is not presented for litigation funding at that stage otherwise a 'turn down' will be the result and there may be no second chance!
IBAS evaluate business banking dispute cases and assess whether litigation is or is not a possibility. Many business banking cases we assess are not suitable for litigation because the risks are just too great. We only recommend cases for litigation which are considered to be of very good merit and which can also be funded. Some of our cases are now progressing through the legal system. The good news for those with cases which IBAS has progressed is that we can determine whether the case is 'suitable' for litigation funding. IBAS will also assess the 'substance' which may be required to strengthen cases in order to be able to progress matters and to obtain the very best negotiating position.