This is another issue on which I have been campaigning for some years now after meeting business owners in North East Derbyshire.
They told me about Interest Rate Swaps, complicated financial products which the banks mis-sold to many businesses that are now, as a result of the bad loan, going bust even though their businesses would have been perfectly viable.
I have, since then, been a member of the All Party Group on Interest Rate Swaps and took part in a debate on 24 October in which we secured a meeting with the Banking Minister, Sajid Javid together with Bully Banks. Bully Banks are an umbrella group representing the interests of those businesses affected by this latest mis-selling scandal.
At the meeting, I asked the Minister what he was doing to get the banks to sort this out quickly, what he was doing to ensure that people were getting adequate compensation, but most importantly, what he was doing about banks like RBS who were effectively setting up separate insolvency companies, forcing good businesses into administration because of the interest rate swap they had been mis-sold and then asset stripping those companies.
The Minister said that he would look into the issue and yet, on 25 November, Vince Cable announced the publication of a report he had commissioned. Either the Department for Business Innovation and Skills is not talking to the Treasury or the Minister didn’t know anything about it or he didn’t tell us in our meeting that this was coming up.
Either way, the Government must do a lot more to get the banks to compensate people who have been mis-sold to and the FCA needs to be proactive in stopping the asset stripping. This scandal is potentially so deep-rooted and complicated (it also affects pension funds) that only a full inquiry into it will satisfy us now.