Ceredigion’s Welsh Liberal Democrat MP Mark Williams has spoken in a debate in the House of Commons on what he termed ‘dangerous and toxic’ loan products which have been mis-sold to thousands of small businesses across the UK, including some in Ceredigion. The debate also focused on the redress process which has been put in place for this mis-selling scandal which was put together by the Financial Conduct Authority with the Banks.
Speaking in the House of Commons chamber, Mark Williams raised with Treasury Ministers the question of sales processes that Banks told both Parliament and the public they had pursued in targeting small business and how this in no way matches the reports of what actually happened on the ground which Mark has heard from many of his constituents affected by this mis-sellling scandal. He also raised some concerns about the redress scheme set up by the FCA which have been relayed to him, particularly that some of these products, known as fixed rate loan Tailored Business Loans, fall outside the scope of the review. Many of those affected have also been concerned with other aspects of the review process, such as the fact that customers cannot have sight of any evidence concerning their particular case which has been submitted by the Bank to the FCA, and in many cases they have been offered alternative products rather than real redress. A process commonly known as ‘a swap for a swap’.
Commenting, Mark Williams said:
‘This has been a huge mis-selling scandal, and many feel that the banks are dragging their feet in the hope that with more time passing and more bills mounting, HMRC will eventually move in and close businesses down.
‘Despite the redress scheme set up by the FCA and the Banks it is clear that small businesses have no confidence whatsoever in it. We were promised the FCA would be a true watchdog, but this had not happened. And as for those businesses that fall outside the scope of the review, will true redress ever be delivered? Where is the transparency and fairness for those businesses, and where is their protection which they so desperately need.’
‘If this review process is to be transparent and fair, customers should be able to see the evidence provided about them by their banks. It is exactly this kind of secrecy which further exacerbates the huge crisis of confidence in the banks. Many businesses and individuals worry about their relationship with the bank following the bank scandals that we as customers have been subject too in recent years. Small businesses have a key role in rebuilding our economy. Creating jobs and generating wealth is what they do best. They deserve far better than this poor excuse of a redress scheme, and it should not be allowed to continue in its present form.’