Archive for July, 2012

Claims for Refunds of Mis-Sold Interest Rate Swaps to Companies Extended to More Banks

Posted on: July 27th, 2012

Following the announcement at the beginning of July that claims for refunds of mis-sold interest rate swaps could be made against four of the UK´s largest high street lenders, seven more banks have been added to the list of financial institutions guilty of mis-selling IRSAs.

The Allied Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland, Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks, Co-Operative Bank, Northern Bank and Santander UK have agreed to review sales of the interest rate swap agreements (IRSAs) that were sold to small business clients as insurance against rising interest rates.

At the beginning of the month Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and the Royal Bank of Scotland admitted selling billions of pounds worth of IRSAs to small and medium sized business after being investigated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

The FSA introduced a rate swap mis-selling compensation scheme at the time, and estimated that up to 28,000 claims for refunds of mis-sold interest rate swaps to companies were likely. Following the agreement of the seven new banks to conduct a “redress exercise and past business review”, the FSA´s estimate has been revised to 40,000.

Analysts have predicted that many borrowers are unaware that they may be entitled to compensation for mis-sold interest rate swaps to companies and have criticised the process under which the banks will be conducting their review, calculating a “reasonable” compensation settlement and informing their customers.

They say that, due to no time period being implemented for the banks´ reviews to be concluded, many business clients will have no option other to accept what the bank is offering them in the form of compensation. This is because a six year limitation period exists within which time claims for refunds of mis-sold interest rate swaps to companies can be made through legal action and the FSA believes that the majority of mis-sold IRSAs occurred between 2005 and 2008.

Soldier´s Compensation for Loss of Hearing Settled Out of Court

Posted on: July 9th, 2012

A former soldier, who was forced to leave the armed forces due to sustaining a hearing injury, is to receive compensation for soldier´s loss of hearing after an out of court settlement was agreed between his legal team and the Ministry of Defence.

Michael Lee (26) had joined the armed forces in 2003 at the age of eighteen and had intended to remain a career soldier until age forty. However, in 2009 the Lance Corporal was diagnosed with permanent bilateral hearing loss of 15dB and downgraded for promotional purposes. He was discharged from the armed services during 2011.

After seeking legal advice, Michael made a claim for soldier´s compensation for loss of hearing as, he alleged in his claim, his injury was attributable to excessive levels of noise at prolonged drum and bugle practice between 2004 and 2008.

The Ministry of Defence admitted liability for his (Michael´s) injury and a negotiated settlement of compensation for soldier´s loss of hearing was agreed to account for Michael´s relatively young age, his loss of future earnings and pension, and future expenses related to hearing aids.

The award of 300,000 pounds is in line with other recent settlements for soldier´s compensation for loss of hearing, including Charles Bradlaugh (22) – who received 330,000 pounds after suffering a hearing injury on a practise exercise in which ear plugs were not provided in 2004.

Bus Injury Accident Compensation of Almost £17k Paid Out

Posted on: July 6th, 2012

Megan Ledden, now 14 years old, has been awarded almost £17,000 in damages at the Circuit Civil Court in a case against the owner of a minibus following an incident where she was struck in the head by a wing mirror.

The bus accident involving the bus occurred in March 2007 on a pedestrian crossing on Old Finglas Road. Ms Ledden was knocked unconscious after she fell back and her head hit the ground. She suffered a laceration on the right side of her forehead and some bruising to her knee. This lead to a permanent faint scarring under the hairline on her forehead, although it is not visible.

The bus injury accident compensation settlement was approved by Mr Justice Matthew Deery approved who also awarded legal costs to Ms Ledden.

Injury Compensation Case Record Settlement in Mining Tragedy

Posted on: July 4th, 2012

The biggest settlement ever for a US coal mining injury compensation case has just been announced, with the owners of the Upper Big Branch pit in West Virginia ordered to pay 210 million dollars in damages.

The Upper Big Branch coal mine was the location of a massive explosion in April 2010 which resulted in the death of 29 miners and, after a federal investigation, it was discovered that the mine´s owner – Massey Energy – was in breach of 369 workplace safety regulations – 12 of which directly contributed to the explosion.

The new owners of the mine – Alpha Natural Resources – will be responsible for the payment of the damages which includes 128 million dollars for safety upgrades, training and research, 35 million dollars in fines for safety violations and 47 million dollars for relatives of the victims.

Eighteen of the families of miners who died in the explosion have already settled their injury compensation cases for wrongful death, but many more remain outstanding – including nine claims for emotional distress made by mine employees who survived the explosion.

Rate Swap Mis-Selling Compensation Scheme Introduced by Financial Services Authority

Posted on: July 2nd, 2012

A rate swap mis-selling compensation scheme has been introduced by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in an agreement with the four banks who recently admitted to mis-selling Interest Rate Swap Agreements (IRSA) to thousands of small and medium sized businesses.

Lloyds, Barclays, HSBC and the Royal Bank of Scotland have acknowledged that, between them, up to 28,000 policies were mis-sold to small and medium size businesses in the UK as an insurance against interest rates increasing on finance the businesses had taken out with the loan providers.

The FSA discovered that many of these policies were mis-sold due to customers not having the terms and conditions explained to them, not being advised that substantial exits costs were involved if the business wanted to withdraw from the agreement or that the rate swap agreements were sold as a condition of a loan being granted or extended.

In some cases of mis-selling, it was found that some IRSAs were for longer terms and higher amounts than the finance that was being provided and that clauses were written into contracts which allowed the banks to withdraw from the insurance policy if they suffered financially, but the same courtesy was not extended to the business.

The rate swap mis-selling compensation scheme will be funded by the banks, who have been told to conduct a “redress exercise and past business review” and contact any business that may be entitled to compensation for the mis-selling of an IRSA.

The total amount of compensation businesses may be entitled to claim because of the banks´ illegal practices could exceed 6 billion pounds, and banks have been instructed not to continue selling IRSAs or foreclose on affected businesses in anything other than “exceptional circumstances”.