A small property holding firm is fighting to take its David-and-Goliath battle with Royal Bank of Scotland to the UK’s highest court.
CGL Group was one of three small companies defeated in a Court of Appeal case over banks mis-selling interest rate swaps last month.
It is now aiming for the Supreme Court. If successful, lawyers believe the case could unlock the door for hundreds more small business claims against banks.
CGL, WW Property Investments and the owners of a Welsh hotel each attempted to sue big banks – RBS, NatWest and Barclays respectively – in the High Court, claiming they had been under-compensated by banks over mis-selling.
All three then challenged this in the Court of Appeal. Judges rejected the appeals last month, ruling that the banks, when deciding on mis-selling payouts as part of a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) redress scheme, did not owe the firms a “duty of care”.
Myerson Solicitors, which is representing CGL, is now “advising our client on seeking permission to appeal from the Supreme Court”.
Myerson’s Jonathan Hassall said: “This case is incredibly important not only to our client but also to other banking customers who are battling the banks through the courts in regards to the mis-selling of interest rate hedging products (IRHPs) and the negligent way in which the banks dealt with the IRHP redress scheme.
“Watch this space because the battle is far from over.”
David McIlroy of Forum Chambers, which is not acting in the case, told City A.M.: “The Supreme Court will be asked whether it really is right that small companies which were sold wholly unsuitable financial products are left without a claim if a bank has wrongly and unfairly assessed their losses within a redress scheme established by the regulator.
“If the answer is no, this will confirm the sense that the establishment is on the side of the banks and against SMEs.”
He added: “The Supreme Court only hears cases of public importance. For hundreds of SMEs, knowing whether or not they have anywhere to go following an unsatisfactory outcome in the swaps redress scheme is vital.”