Maple Leaf Financial have been dealing with mis sold Financial products for the past 10yrs, thats right, financial product mis-selling has been going on for a very long time by banks and financial institutions. It has only become a common knowledge since the financial crisis, brought on by Gross mis-selling of financial products, before this Banks and other financial institutions had managed to keep this under wraps.

A recent study by the FOS revealed that less then 1 in 10 mis sold PPI policies had actually been claimed, this figure has prompted us to publish this article to help individuals and businesses understand what financial products have been mis-sold in the past and yes, still continue to be mis sold.

The Scope of Mis Sold Financial Products and Financial Advice

We currently deal with a wide variety of mis sold financial products, but they all have a similar set of fundamental principles that make these finacial products and or financial advice to be deemed as mis sold.

  • I was not in work or I was self employed at the time of sale.
  • I was told I had to take out the  policy at the time of the loan.
  • I was not asked whether I had any other insurance which could cover the loan.
  • I was not told I could buy a similar or better financial product.
  • It was not explained to me that there could be certain exclusions to the policy.
  • I felt pressured into buying the financial product.
  • I was being treated for a pre-existing medical condition or mental illness which was not discussed.
  • I repaid the loan early and received no refund.
  • The terms and conditions (small print) was not fully explained to me.

 

Types of mis sold Financial Products

There are a plethora of mis sold financial products that were or are still being mis sold today. The list below are some of the more common mis sold financial products that we at Maple Leaf Financial see on a daily basis. If you do not see a particular financial product,  that does not mean we do not deal with it, please call us for a no obligation chat.

Mis Sold Interest Rate Swaps (SWAP)

We reviewed the types of Interest Rate products that have been sold by the four largest banks and the ways in which they were sold to SMEs.

We found that when properly sold, in the right circumstances to the right customers, these products can protect customers against the risk of interest rate changes. However, when sold to ‘non-sophisticated’ customers, likely to be smaller business which wouldn’t necessarily have specific expertise and understanding in this area, some products may not have been appropriate for their needs.

In these cases, we found that the banks did not follow our rules in a number of areas, including how a number of interest rate products were sold, in particular the sales of structured collars.

As a result we have agreed the following redress and action with Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and RBS.

What this means if you bought a structured collar

You will be entitled to redress if you bought a structured collar product and your bank believes that you may not have understood fully what you were buying. The bank will be writing to you explaining this, and you may need to respond with further information about your case. This applies to customers who bought the product after 1 December 2001.

What this means if you bought other interest rate swaps, hedging products (except caps)

If it believes that you may not have understood fully what you were buying, the bank will ask whether you would like your case to be reviewed. Along with an independent review, it will then decide whether you are owed redress.

What this means if you bought an interest rate cap

Customers who bought caps have not automatically been included in this review. However, you can still complain to your bank if you are concerned about your product.


Mis Sold Interest Rate Swap Information

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Justifed Claims for Interest Rate Swaps – IRSA Claims

  • discrepancies between the underlying value of the loan and the interest rate swap, with customers being sold swaps which far exceed the term of their underlying borrowing, or where the notional amount of the swap is far in excess of the actual borrowing.
  • substantial discrepancy between the length of the loan facility and the length of the swap product.
  • customers being forced to continue with the interest rate hedges in order to maintain their current lending facility upon renewal.
  • banks failing to explain to their customers the extent of the exit or breakage costs of the swaps and failing to ensure that the derivative products offered meet the needs of the customers.
  • breaches by the banks of their duty of care to customers coupled with negligent  misrepresentations by the banks as to the nature or effect of the products sold.
  • failure by the banks to comply under the FSA Conduct of Business.

What is a Swap?

An interest rate swap is a type of financial transaction that occurs between two parties. Each party agrees to exchange future interest payments on specified assets with the other party. Agreements of this type are usually structured with a beginning and ending date, although the two parties can choose to leave the end date open if they like.

Structuring an interest rate swap involves the identification of specific interest bearing assets that each are owned in whole by each party. In addition, the interest generated by those assets must provide some perceived benefit to each party participating in the swap. Once the assets are identified and terms are worked out between the two parties, the swap can commence and continue for the period specified within the agreement’s terms and conditions.

What Can Be Accomplished With an Interest Rate Swap?

One of the more common strategies with an interest rate swap is to make an exchange that helps to minimize exposure for a certain period of time. At times, the goal is to use this approach to hedge against possible shifts in the economy that in turn has some effect on the average interest rate. For example, an investor may want to structure an exchange using an asset with a fixed rate of interest. He or she will search for another party who is willing to swap the interest on that fixed rate asset for one that carries a floating or variable rate of interest. This approach can often be practical if the LIBOR rate is expected to fluctuate significantly over the next several months.

In order for the swap to truly be successful, each party must benefit from the exchange. Along with helping to minimize exposure for a period of time, there is also the expectation that some sort of monetary gain will occur from the arrangement.

Example of Swapping Interest Rates

One of the easiest ways to understand interest rate swaps is to consider an example. Company A wants to loan funds, with the lending set with a fixed interest rate. Company B currently is able to manage loans at a fixed rate that is slightly lower than Company A. Company B can issue debt at its lower rate and then trade those obligations to Company A. Company A will then use variable or floating rate obligations as part of a swap with the fixed rate obligations issued by Company B.

If both parties have provided full disclosure about the particulars of the arrangement and they have agreed to use a standard for the floating rate, such as the LIBOR rate, then there is the chance for everyone to benefit. Both parties share the cost of the lending structures, something that helps to increase their net profits from the swap.

For more Information: www.maplefinancial.co.uk/swap-claims

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Mis Sold PPI (Payment Protection Insurance)

Even if the PPI policy is no longer in place, and the money has been repaid, if you feel you were mis-sold this particular financial product, you can still make a claim for compensation and a refund of the premiums paid.

You might have had a loan and then consolidated this loan or other borrowings into a single new loan. You can make a claim on all the old loans not just the current loan.

Many borrowers are simply unaware that they have this insurance attached to the loan never even realizing that they might have been mis-sold in the first place. It seems that the problem is a huge one and many people are affected unknowingly. Insurance companies are receiving a barrage of claims due to recent fines by the FSA announced in the press and subsequent successful claims by consumers.

Mis sold PPI Product Information

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Can I still claim if I no longer have the PPI policy?

Yes, even if the policy is no longer in place, and the loan or credit card has been repaid, if you feel you were mis-sold, you can still make a claim for compensation and a refund of the premiums paid. You might have had a loan and then consolidated this loan or other borrowings into a single new loan. You can make a claim on all the old loans not just the current loan.

Can I see examples of typical PPI claims?

Example A
Loan amount: £12,000
PPI Premium: £3,800
Interest Rate: 8.8%APR
Loan term: 60 months
Number of monthly payments made: 60
PPI Interest paid to date: £910
This claim would typically result in a refund of £4,710+ 8% statutory interest of £1,005*

Total claim: £5,715

Example B
Loan amount: £28,000
PPI Premium: £5360
Interest Rate: 7.55%APR
Loan term: 180 months
Number of monthly payments made: 72
PPI Interest paid to date: £3588
This claim would typically result in a refund of £3,588 + 8%

statutory interest of £946*+ the remaining PPI removed from the loan saving £5,382 in further payments.

Total claim:£9,916

* In some cases Statutory Interest may not be payable on your claim. These are very basic examples and there are many variables to take into account when assessing the amount of compensation due. Our PPI claims team is an expert at this and will ensure you get the correct compensation rightfully due to you.

How long does it take?

If it’s a ‘High Street’ lender then it will take approximately 60 days to offer although this will vary from Lender to Lender. If it goes to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) then it may take 8-9 months.

Can’t I just cancel the PPI policy myself?

Yes of course you can. However, cancelling a single payment policy can be challenging as typically these policies offer very little in the way of a refund. The insurance company’s typical answer is that all the risk is in the early years and therefore the refund may be very small and disproportionate. Some companies will state that the only way to cancel the policy is to refinance and settle the current loan agreement with a new loan without PPI. Some of the lenders will also try and fob you off by telling you that you won’t get a new loan at the same interest rate and that the new one may be higher.

Can I do this myself?

Yes you can. It may be time-consuming and some claimants find the process intimidating. You will need to calculate all the premiums and interest yourself. When you use our service, we do all the work for you.

How much does it cost?

There are no upfront fees. We will charge you 25% plus VAT of any compensation recovered for you, including any money removed from your loan. You are entitled to a 14 day cooling off period on purchase of any of our services.

What is the service you provide?

We will work with you to ensure that you get the correct settlement or refund and any and all fair compensation that may be due to you as a result of mis-selling. We will deal directly with your provider, be it a bank or insurance company and neither we nor our specialist claims team will be fobbed off by them at any stage. If their offer is too low or derogatory and they won’t take us seriously we will challenge them on your behalf. There will be little required from yourself by way of input.

For More information : www.maplefinancial.co.uk/ppi-claims

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Mis Sold Financial Investments or Financial Investment Advice

Whether or not you have already surrendered the policy or whether or not you believe there is a problem with them. Each case is different and they are all assessed individually. Sometimes we can claim because investments were simply unsuitable and they were mis-sold. In other cases it may be because of technical shortcomings in contracts, regulatory issues or a combination of these factors.

‘Most of our clients had no idea there was a problem with their policies or investments before they spoke with us. You have nothing to lose by calling us to find out about your own arrangements.’

  • Whole of Life Plans
  • Savings Plans
  • PEP’s
  • ISA’s
  • Life Policies for Inheritance Tax
  • Pension Mortgages
  • Income Protection Plans
  • Lump Sum Investments

In fact almost any kind of plan for which you receive annual statements from a wide range of companies, for example:

  • Abbey Life
  • Windsor Life
  • HSBC
  • HBOS (including Halifax)
  • Canada Life
  • Zurich (including Allied Dunbar)
  • Lincoln Financial Group
  • Sun Life Financial of Canada
  • All the major High Street Banks and Building Societies
  • *In some cases, we can also help with policies and investments taken out before April 1988.

Mis Sold Investments Information

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Mis Sold Investment Process

We will conduct an initial enquiry with you over the telephone to establish what kind of policies and investments you have and to obtain some background information. This will enable us to decide immediately whether the case is one we wish to investigate in more detail.

Having obtained an authority from you, we will then approach the product provider and any other relevant party for the information we need in order to review the case thoroughly. Once this has been received, we will decide whether we believe there are adequate grounds to raise a claim for compensation.

Where a claim is raised, we will determine the most appropriate grounds for claiming and then deal with the case until completion, challenging and contesting any findings we do not agree with. The claim will be escalated to the relevant authorities as appropriate and we will negotiate the best settlement we can achieve. We will carefully scrutinise loss calculations and settlement terms for accuracy and fairness.

Although we often use arguments based on our knowledge of legal duties and requirements, we do not enter into legal proceedings. However, our work does not prevent you from taking legal action after we have finished, should you wish to do so.

“All compensation payments are made direct to you, not to us.”

Fees

  • We operate on a No-Win No-Fee basis.
  • We make no upfront charges of any kind.
  • We take nothing from the existing value of your policies and investments.
  • Our fee is 25% of the compensation we are able to win and is charged when the compensation is paid to you.

Our fee structure enables you to take advantage of our service without costs or risk. It also ensures that our own interests and yours are directly linked and that we are motivated solely by achieving the best outcome we can for you

NB: Please note, that we have to protect our own position should the situation arise where a client cancels our agreement before the case is concluded. In such circumstances, we reserve the right to make a reasonable charge for the work we have done on the case up until cancellation.

Please complete our Investment mis-selling Questionnaire and we will be able to advice you if you have a complaint. This is an interactive form so that once the document is opened you will be able to complete all the details on screen and return by email. Alternatively, you can print and complete by hand. For further information please see our list of FAQ’s.

See More Information: www.maplefinancial.co.uk/mis-sold-investment

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Recovering PPI in IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement)

In short we can provide “Access to Justice”  to clients, who are routinely rejected by other claims management companies and solicitors due to their status. All parties involved in the (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) IVA benefit from the increased capital.

Having extensively researched legal arguments on Insolvency claims the company remains one of very few with the knowledge and insight to interpret the needs of Insolvency Practitioners and the ability to deliver financial recoveries on PPI with IVA’s – thus significantly increasing dividends to all participants of the IVA. It is widely believed that claims within insolvency were pointless as the creditor would easily ‘set off’ any and all payments against the outstanding debt. This argument has now been overcome resulting in PPI cases being settled in a routinely manner. Lenders are instructed to forward all settlements monies to the benefit of the IVA supervisor. Maple leaf financil maintains a fully regulated account in instances where monies are sent to us, or it is preferred to instruct lenders to make the payments there.

We are informed by supervisors using the process that they are able to charge a 15% uplift of their own fees on all additional realisations introduced – either by cash injection or reduction in the IVA debt.

 

PPI in IVA Information

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Whether you have completed your IVA or you are still in your IVA, making a mis-sold PPI claim is still possible.

However, there are differences between the two situations. In one situation, you will be able to keep the compensation you receive from a successful claim. In the other situation, this simply is not possible.

Facts about PPI in IVA

Other concerns also arise when filing a PPI claim. For example, your bank may attempt to use the unrealised asset rule or the offset rule in an effort to keep your compensation once your IVA is finished. Therefore, it is crucial that you understand all of the facts and your chances of success before making a claim.

Currently in Your IVA

It is important to understand that any money you receive as a result of a mis-sold PPI claim can be considered a financial windfall if you are currently in your IVA. Instead of receiving the money directly, the money must be placed in your IVA to pay your creditors. The length or amount of your IVA will not change. Rather, your creditors will simply receive more money back than they originally thought.

Due to the fact that your PPI compensation will be considered a financial windfall under this circumstance, it is highly recommended that you wait until your IVA has ended before making a PPI claim. However, sometimes you may not have the luxury of waiting until your IVA has ended. If an IP requests that you file a mis-sold PPI claim while you are currently in your IVA, the request must be cooperated with.

In certain cases, your IP may arrange for you to keep some of the proceeds if you are in a financial emergency. Additionally, if any banks that you have filed a claim against compensate you directly, you are not allowed to spend any of this money without having a written agreement from your IP.

Completed Your IVA

If you have completed your IVA and your IP did not request that you file a mis-sold PPI claim during the duration of your IVA, then you are more than welcome to make a claim. If your claim is successful, you will be able to keep any compensation that you receive.

However, before beginning the process of making a claim, it is important to know for certain that your IVA is completed. You may be finished making payments to your IVA, but your IVA may not be legally finished and you may still fall under IVA restrictions. Thus, you must have a certificate of completion before filing a mis-sold PPI claim.

Typically, your IVA company issues the certificate of completion two months after making your last IVA payment. If more than two months has passed and you still have not received your certificate, you should contact your IVA company and have them issue you a certificate as soon as possible.

Filing a Claim After Completing Your IVA

The proliferation of media advertisements about mis-sold PPI claims may make the process seem simpler than it actually is. Unfortunately, if you have experienced the IVA process, making a claim is not nearly as simple as it is portrayed.

For instance, banks you file a claim against may try to use the offset rule to withhold your compensation. The offset rule allows banks to use your PPI compensation to pay back debts simply because you were in an IVA. Your mis-sold PPI compensation may also be viewed as an unrealised asset by previous creditors, but this depends upon the specifics of your IVA contract and the manner in which you PPI wrote the contract.

Due to these reasons, you should seek professional counsel when considering making a PPI claim after IVA. Rather than using a PPI claims management company, a specialised solicitor that understands the proper actions to take if banks try using the offset or unrealised argument should be used.

The services of a specialist claims firm can prove invaluable, but you should ensure that the firm you choose truly adheres to a no fee policy for unsuccessful claims. This way you will not have to pay a fee if you do not receive compensation from your mis-sold PPI claim.

The intricacies of IVAs and mis-sold PPI claim filings are often misunderstood by many claimants. By understanding these facts, you will be able to competently navigate the PPI claims process and receive the compensation you deserve.

For More Information: www.maplefinancial.co.uk/recovering-ppi-in-ivas

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Mis Sold Business Financial Products

  • Business Loan Claims – charges
  • Missold Business insurance – Several types
  • Missold Business Leases – Commercial vehicles, plant and machinery, printers, photocopiers
  • Genuine Tax Allowances on Commercial property

Maple Leaf Financial Business Compensation Service

Maple Leaf Financial have a specialist team of solicitors dedicated to dealing with the mis-selling of Business loans, Business insurance, Business leases. We are very happy to review these relatively complex arrangements and to claim compensation for our clients where appropriate.
Please do not hesitate to call and we will be happy to discuss your individual concerns and requirements

Mis Sold Business Product Information

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At this time, most banks are actively contacting business owners that purchased a Swap, Collar or Structured Collar to see if you qualify for any type of reimbursement. At this time, Caps do not fall under this category, but you can request a review anyways if you feel you were sold a Cap under pressure.

If it is determined that you are subject to a refund, you may receive one or more of the following compensations:

  • Full or partial refund of your costs associated with the product.
  •  Cancellation of the product without any penalties or additional charges.
  • Switched to a similar product that is beneficial to the consumer.

Not every company will qualify for reimbursement, but it is very important that as a business owner you demand a review. If you have not been contacted by the bank, make an effort to contact them and ask for a review.

Each case will be independently reviewed and a determination will be based on any facts found. Any business that is not is not satisfied with the outcome of their review can address their concerns to the Ombudsman for the Financial Services Authority.

If you believe that your business closed as a result of one of these financial products, you should seek legal representation. While there have not been arrangements made for businesses in this position a solicitor may be able to help you gain additional compensation for the loss of your business.

Other Less-Known Compensations For Your Business

IRSA’s are not the only financial or insurance product being examined by the FSA for small business owners.

You may be entitled to other compensation if you have one or more of the following products:

  • Business Insurance. There are several different business insurance products now being investigated and providing refunds for mis-selling to the public.
  •  Business Lease. Several leases have been found to have unnecessary attachments to the leases that unnecessarily cost the small business owner extra money. These leases include vehicles, machinery and other equipment, printers and office machines.
  • Genuine tax allowances on commercial properties.

Additionally, there are other financial services and products that are currently under review by the FSA to determine if the sales of these products fall within the guidelines of fair business practices. If any new products are determined to fall under mis-selling, the FSA will provide a public notice.

As a business owner, it is in your best interest to take a few moments to research these issues to see if your company is due any compensation. Your company may be able to make claims in all of these sectors, allowing it to recoup many of its unnecessary past expenses.

For more information : www.maplefinancial.co.uk/business-compensation

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Mis Sold Credit Card & Credit Card Financial Complaints

Do you have a complaint against your Credit Card lender?

  • Did your credit card company check your ability to afford the credit card?
  • When was the last time your credit card issuer checked about your income situation?
  • Do you have serious problems paying your bills?
  • Have your personal circumstances changed since you took out the credit card?
  • Have your financial circumstances changed since you took out the credit card?
  • Has your credit card provider started legal proceedings against you?
  • Did anyone explain that the credit card agreement was ‘Cancellable’?
  • Did anyone tell you about the ‘Cooling Off Period’?

We are here to help you with your SERIOUS credit card complaint.

 

Credit Card Complaint Information

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Many people have failed to claim their PPI refund simply because they do not have enough information. The following guideline should quickly address your questions, enabling you to claim your refund. MapleFinancial.co.uk that can help with your PPI claims or any other Mis-sold financial product.

Credit Card PPI

• What Is PPI? PPI stands for Payment Protection Insurance. It is an insurance policy on your credit cards that will make payments for you in the event of unemployment, sickness or injury. These insurance policies have been widely mis-sold, and you may be entitled to a refund.

• What Does Mis-Sold Mean? Mis-sold is interpreted as being sold a policy from the credit issuing company under the guidelines that you to have the insurance to obtain credit, or you were not told that you could obtain this coverage elsewhere for a betterneeded  price.

• Are All Credit Card PPI Policies Bad? The product itself is actually very good. However, you would be much better off purchasing this type of cover on your own. Policies sold directly through the card companies or banks are very expensive.

• Are There Deadlines For When The Insurance Was Purchased? No. Insurance purchased in this manner during the last six years will automatically qualify for a claim, even if the credit line is now paid off. Insurance purchased over six years ago, and the account is still active, will also easily qualify for the claim. Accounts that are closed, and the policy was started over six years ago, can still claim, but will be required to fill out additional paperwork.

• How Much Can I Get Back If I Claim? The amount of money that you receive back will be based on the amount of money you paid into the policy. You will also receive an adjustment for the amount of interest that you paid on your accounts as a result of the premium being added to your balance.

• How Many Credit Card  Accounts Can I Claim On? Any and all of the accounts you have had that had PPI on them will qualify for a claim.

• I Do Not Remember All Of My  Credit Card Accounts – What Should I Do? The easiest way to find out all of your active accounts for the last six years is to obtain a copy of your credit report. Your credit report will have a list of all your accounts, even those that have been paid off, that were active over the last six years.

• How Can I Tell If I Had PPI On My Credit Card  Account? When you examine the paperwork associated with the account, you should look for terms such as: “protection plan,” “payment cover policy,” “card protection plan,” “retail payment protection.” Any type of mention of insurance policy will signal that you have been sold PPI.

• I Do Not Have My Paperwork – What Should I Do? You can contact your credit issuing company and ask for a copy of your paperwork, or ask outright if you have protection coverage.

• Can I Claim If I Paid My Credit Card  Balance In Full Each Month? Yes. PPI premiums would have been charged to your monthly balance before you made the payment each month.

• Will Making A PPI Claim Affect My Credit Report? No. Making a reclaim will not affect your credit file or your account.

• I Have Already Claimed Loan PPI- Can I Now Claim Credit Card PPI? Yes. You are entitled to make a claim against every account you have been wrongfully charged PPI premiums on.

• Can I Claim PPI If I Am Still Paying On The Credit Card Debt? Yes. In most cases, however, the bank will refund your PPI claim by removing that amount from the balance that you owe.

• Can I Claim If I AM No Longer A Customer Of That Bank? Yes. You do not have to be a current customer to claim. The only qualifications are that you purchased the policy through them when you established your credit line.

• I Am In An IVA/Debt Management Plan – Should I Claim? Yes. You still are entitled to make a claim for being mis-sold a policy. You should take note, however, that nay claim you make will most likely be applied to your debt.

• My Lender Was Bought Out – Can I Claim? Yes. When a company purchases another company, it assumes the liability of the old company’s transactions. You can still make a claim.

• My Lender Is Out Of Business – Can I Claim? Yes. If your lender was regulated under the FSA, you can make a claim through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

• Can I Claim If My Spouse Or Parent Has Died? Yes. The claim becomes part of the estate of the deceased. You can file a claim, and it will be distributed accordingly

See more information : www.maplefinancial.co.uk/credit-card-complaints

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Why Maple Leaf Financial ?

The world has changed…. People are waking up to what has happened here in the UK during the past 30 years. These days every high profile financial institution has to be wary about large scale potential claims for compensation.

This means not only major banks and insurance companies but also high street stores issuing store cards and credit cards.

Our legal teams have tremendous depth of real life knowledge and exposure working both for and against large and small financial companies. Maple leaf financial has brought these teams together from different areas and all of them are dedicated perfectionists offering a first class service ONLY to Maple Leaf Financial.

It takes time to build a winning team and we hope that in doing so we can improve the quality of your financial life.

 

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Tim Capper

Bringing you financial news and information in plain english for Maple Leaf Financial. My aim is to help readers understand these often complex financial instruments.