How to help a business owner with an interest rate swap

Published: 03/11/2013

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) will turn to their family and friends for advice before they consult a professional, new research has revealed.

Bibby Financial Services has found that 23 per cent of SMEs trust friends and family the most when looking for advice. Financial advisers are the first port of call for 18 per cent of businesses while the internet and accountants both received a 14 per cent share. Only 9 per cent would go to a solicitor in the first instance.

This places a great deal of pressure on loved ones particularly if the SME owner needs help with an interest rate swap. Simon Cottrell, Senior Partner at Goldsmith Williams Solicitors who are assisting many SMEs affected by interest rate swap mis selling, offers this advice to friends and family who find themselves in this difficult situation:

“This news comes of no real surprise; after being so badly duped by one professional body it is understandable that business owners would then treat others with trepidation. However in doing so they are no closer to solving the problem.

“We are therefore urging the friends and families of business owners to encourage them to face up to the situation. Only then can there be any light at the end of this dark, dark tunnel.

“Chances are they will have received a letter from their lender but with their focus on survival there is a good chance they have overlooked it either by accident or in fact deliberately.

“The letter will detail the product they were sold and include a brief explanation of the review scheme. They will also be asked if they want to opt in to the review. This form needs to be completed and returned to the lender, typically within 28 days.

“If the lender asks for any other information at this stage – many include a questionnaire - we strongly advise they do not provide anything without the assistance of a specialist legal professional.

“I’m sure the sceptics amongst you are thinking – ‘of course you’d say something like that’. However we have seen what can happen when a business owner proceeds without legal representation. We have spoken to SME owners who, having attended a meeting with the lender and ‘independent reviewer’, have unwittingly damaged their chances of receiving redress. Sadly at this stage there is nothing we can do to help resolve the situation.

“If, with everything else going on, they have misplaced the letter there is no need to panic. We can still help them make a claim for a mis sold interest rate swap providing their claim is still within the limitation period.

“Your support is undoubtedly invaluable. You are able to look at the situation far more rationally than your friend or family member who is understandably close to breaking point. Unfortunately you are only able to console, not remedy. We however can and are.

“Our team is already helping many business owners mis sold an interest rate swap and is highly experienced in dealing with such sensitive situations. We offer a free case assessment and are on hand every step of the way until we reach a resolution.

“Businesses are in this appalling situation through no fault of their own but that doesn’t mean it will magically sort itself out. They need help and between us we can get them out of these dire straits.”

Content correct at time of publication

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