Bank pursued for compensation

Clydesdale loans campaigners hire adviser to fight case

Clydesdale BankA group of business owners are stepping up their legal action against CYBG with the appointment of a firm of advisers to pursue their claim.

The long-running case revolves around a complaint from small business customers who allege the company – the parent of Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks – mis-sold loans with costs that pushed some into insolvency.

Campaigners, who are seeking hundreds of millions of pounds in compensation, are unhappy with these Tailored Business Loans (TBLs), saying they contained interest rate swaps that they claim were not clearly explained to customers. They were sold to SMEs by Clydesdale Bank between 2001 and 2012.

RGL Management, which has been co-ordinating a group of claimants since last year, has now formed a joint venture with All Square Finance, a Leeds-based specialist in pursuing business banking claims.

In a statement issued yesterday, RGL said All Square Finance had been engaged “to use its specialist knowledge and expertise in bringing claims against banks, and to bring hundreds more claimants to join RGL’s action against Clydesdale Bank and the National Australia Bank [former owner].

“RGL announced in July 2017 that it had raised funding from Augusta Ventures to bring a claim against Clydesdale and NAB with respect to their tailored business loans (TBLs).

“As of today, the SME claimant group will shortly exceed 500 members. In addition, hundreds more are expected to join as RGL processes over 550 further potential SME claimants introduced by allSquare. Each day, more and more businesses are rushing to join the action before it is brought to court. The claim is expected to bring hundreds of millions of pounds in compensation. 

“allSquare was founded in 2012 to bring claims for businesses against banks over the mis-selling of interest rate hedging products. After many successes, the firm has grown to today become the UK’s leading expert in business banking and financial product claims. Since 2014, allSquare has focussed on the sale of TBLs and has built a backbook of several hundred businesses with potential claims to bring against Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank, in respect of their toxic TBLs. 

“Between 2001 and 2012, it is estimated that just over 8,300 fixed rate TBLs were sold, and together, allSquare and RGL are expecting significant numbers of affected individuals representing SMEs to join the claimant group. RGL is also developing a mechanism to reinstate a mass of companies that were struck-off after damaging events relating to a TBL.”

RGL has raised funding from Augusta Ventures and appointed a strong legal team, led by Michelmores. The legal team is led by Garbhan Shanks, partner at Michelmores, and Andrew Onslow QC from 3 Verulam Building Chambers. RGL is currently in pre-action protocol correspondence with Clydesdale and is likely to issue proceedings in early 2019.

Daniel Hall, managing director of allSquare said: “By joining with RGL’s action, we are extremely pleased to be able to offer a cost-effective route to compensation for not only our clients but also for the many other affected businesses up and down the UK.

“The combined claim will be significant and RGL’s expertise, legal team and funding will ensure that we have the best possible chances of success.”

James Hayward, CEO of RGL Management stated: Clydesdale and NAB now have a bigger, stronger and more determined group to face. Our case is strong and we will issue proceedings in due course.”

In an earlier statement, Clydesdale Bank said: “In relation to Tailored Business Loans, this is a long-standing historical matter which has been subject to significant scrutiny and which the Bank has been working through with customers as part of a wide-ranging remediation programme, in an open and transparent manner.

“We have made significant progress in resolving the vast majority of cases. Where we have reached a final agreement with customers, the cost of this has been covered by existing provisions as extensively disclosed in our financial reports.”

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