This post follows on in a series of blog posts explaining the role of fact finding meetings in the context of interest rate swaps and what takes place during a fact finding meeting.
Role Of The Testimony Gatherer
MBM has learned from attending Fact Finding Meetings that part of the Testimony Gatherer’s job is to ask questions of the customer with the aim of finding weaknesses in their mis-selling claim. The Banks have to deal with a huge number of mis-selling claims and are trying to limit the amount of customers who are actually awarded compensation at the end of the Review Process.
Aim of Bank's Questions
Occasionally the weaknesses that the Testimony Gatherer is looking for are not even apparent to the customers. Several of MBM’s clients have been surprised to learn that certain facts, which the clients initially thought would strengthen their claim, actually weaken their position.
Benefits of Having Professional Advisers
For these reasons it is important to have legal representation, or at least professional advisers who have experience with dealing with mis-selling claims and understand the relevant law, present at the meeting. One of the ways MBM is helping their clients prepare for the Fact Finding Meetings is by preparing detailed statements that set out the clients’ position. The clients' statement is read out at the beginning of the Fact Finding Meeting.
The statement reading is of great assistance as the clients are narrowing the risk of omitting to tell the Testimony Gatherer some relevant facts, as well as helping to avoid a situation where the clients’ answers to the Testimony Gatherer questions are being led by closed questions. Similarly, a detailed statement will help to answer most, if not all, of the Testimony Gatherer’s questions and will make the meeting itself a less intimidating experience than it would be if it was simply a series of questions asked by the Testimony Gatherer to which the customer is expected to answer on the spot without prior careful consideration.
The importance of having professional advice and representation at the Fact Finding Meetings was underlined by Bully Banks in their letter to its members following a meeting on 24 July 2013 with Vince Cable, Creg Clark, Tessa Munt MP and Martin Wheatley. Bully Banks is a key pressure group working on the swap misselling claims by owners of SMEs.
If you have a Fact Finding Meeting coming up or have any queries regarding the FCA Review Process, please do not hesitate to contact MBM Commercial’s Dispute Resolution team.