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FSA denies big firms interest rate swap complaints scheme

Natalie Ceeney

The FSA refused an offer from the Financial Ombudsman Service to create a specialist unit to deal with interest rate swap misselling claims from larger firms.

Speaking to the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards today, deputy chief executive Tony Boorman said it had been forced to turn away a lot of complaints from medium to large businesses.

FOS can only act as an adjudicator for small businesses and individuals, while larger firms are expected to settle disputes through the courts. Labour MP Andy Love raised concerns about larger firms’ access to the FOS.

Boorman said: “Any boundary of jurisdiction is a problem. The definition of micro-enterprise is not always as straightforward as one might like. We have turned away a lot of enquiries on the basis of our jurisdiction.

“The FSA looked at it and we, very proactively, offered the possibility of a particular special scheme but it concluded that it wasn’t necessary. It thought there is a sensible boundary already and as a general principle we don’t disagree.

“Large businesses should be using a court for their disputes while small business and customers at home should use an organisation like ourselves.”

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