MP blasts HMRC over interest rate swaps
HMRC's attitude toward business mis-sold interest rate swap products is "disappointing" according to MP Guto Bebb.
While banks have taken a more relaxed view toward affected businesses, Bebb, chairman of the All Party Group on Interest Rate Mis-selling which 50 MPs have now joined, said HMRC have been "less than sympathetic".
In a letter to Mike Eland, director general of enforcement and compliance at HMRC, Bebb expressed MPs concerns about HMRC's attitude.
"These products have resulted in significant financial consequences for the businesses in question," he said. "Actions taken by HMRC actually threaten the ability of individual businesses to survive. It is very concerning to see that HRMC appears intent on pushing businesses that might well be eligible for redress into administration."
An HMRC spokesman responded: “HMRC offers a range of support to businesses in temporary financial difficulties, to help them manage their cashflow problems. Where businesses are facing genuine short term cash flow difficulties for whatever reason it is important they approach us as soon as they realise, so that we can consider early on whether time to pay is appropriate.”
In response to this, the FSA set up a redress scheme for businesses, which is almost finished its pilot review process.
Eleven high street banks are involved with the scheme, including HSBC and Barclays, who have suspended swap payments for businesses seen as particularly vulnerable. Bebb said the redress scheme is expected to be rolled out in the New Year.