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Interest Rate Swapping

Volume 560: debated on Tuesday 12 March 2013

On 31 January, the Financial Services Authority published the findings of the pilot review into interest rate swap mis-selling. The full review of 40,000 cases is now under way, and the FSA says it should be completed within six months. Small business organisations played a major role in exposing the scandal, so I can announce to the House that from today bodies representing consumers, including small businesses, will be able to apply to make super-complaints to the Financial Conduct Authority, giving them fast-track access to the regulator. That important power should help to ensure that any future misconduct is detected quickly and put right.

I thank the Minister for that answer. My constituent, Mr James Boyle, has a contract with Clydesdale bank, which seems to be excluded from the review. The main banks—RBS, HSBC, Barclays and Lloyds—are all included. Why are the Clydesdale bank, and my constituent, excluded from the review?

I can confirm that the Clydesdale bank has now become part of the review, as have all the other principal banks. The hon. Gentleman has raised the case of his constituent with me before; even though the product was not within the review’s terms of reference, Clydesdale has agreed to consider it as part of the review.

I have constituents who are concerned that the FSA may come under pressure from the banks to water down its findings and reduce the scope of the redress scheme, to their disadvantage. What can my right hon. Friend say to reassure my constituents about that important issue?

My hon. Friend raises a very important point. The review is under the auspices of the Financial Services Authority, and each bank has had to appoint independent reviewers who are themselves accountable to the FCA. It is absolutely crucial that the objectivity they bring to bear cannot be compromised, and I have given the FSA clear feedback that it should have that in mind during the review.