The FSA (since 2 April 2013 the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)) instigated an industry-wide review of the sale of interest rate hedging products to small and medium sized businesses. AIB Group (UK) p.l.c. trading as First Trust Bank voluntarily agreed to take part in this review.
With support from the FCA approved independent reviewer, we have reviewed the sales of interest rate hedging products since 1 December 2001 to establish if they met the required sales standards. More information about the role of the independent reviewer can be found on the FCA website.
For the purpose of the review of the sales of such products, customers are categorised by the FCA into three groups as follows, definitions of which can be found on the FCA website:
Category A - sale of Structured Collars
Category B - sale of Interest Rate Hedging Products other than structured collars and caps
Category C - sale of Caps
Within each group, customers have been categorised by the Bank, in agreement with the independent reviewer, as either sophisticated or non-sophisticated. Sophisticated customers are outside the scope of the main review. Further information about the criteria for determining whether a customer is sophisticated or non-sophisticated can be found on the FCA website.
We have completed the initial review stage and issued redress letters for non-sophisticated customers who had opted in for review by June 2014.
Together with the independent reviewer, we are carefully considering and responding to any customer queries regarding their redress outcomes and also assessing customers’ claims for consequential losses.
Non-sophisticated customers in Category C are not included in the scope of the review unless they complain to the Bank during the course of the independent review. If you are a Category C customer and you are dissatisfied with the sale of your interest rate Cap product and wish to complain you may do so in writing directly to our Customer Care Unit at First Trust Bank, First Trust Centre, 92 Ann Street, Belfast, BT1 3HH or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you make a complaint after the independent review has completed, the complaint will be dealt with in accordance with the Bank's usual complaints handling procedure, without the assistance of the independent reviewer
Further information on the above can be found in the frequently asked questions section of the FCA website. In the meantime, if you have any queries or require further information please contact your Relationship Manager.