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Interest rate swap claim

Advice on interest rate derivatives

Major Dutch banks ABN AMRO, Deutsche Bank, ING, Rabobank, SNS and Van Lanschot for many years sold interest rate derivatives to SMEs as a product by means of which the interest rate on a variable-rate loan could be fixed. Instead of paying the variable interest rate (e.g. the three-month EURIBOR interest rate), a fixed interest rate, known as the swap rate, was agreed on with the bank. Over the years a wide range of interest rate derivatives have been sold. The most common types of derivatives are interest rate swaps and interest rate caps. Other types include interest rate floors, interest rate collars, knock-in swap variants, semi-super collar interest rate swaps and reduced premium cap interest rate swaps. Interest rate derivatives are complex products and are not really intended for standard SMEs. Many customers have taken out interest rate derivatives without properly understanding how they work and what risks are involved.

In 2013 already the AFM (Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets) established that the banks made errors in doing so. They insufficiently took their customers’ interests into account when advising on and entering into interest rate swaps, and failed to adequately warn them about the risks involved. Many of the interest rate swaps were not in keeping with the underlying loan. As a result, many SMEs with interest rate swaps were suddenly faced with serious financial problems, for instance due to a negative value of the interest rate swap or overhedging, or due to interim increases of the surcharges (both liquidity surcharges and debtor surcharges) on the underlying loan.

Interest rate swap lawyer: Fort Advocaten can advise you on your interest rate derivative

FORT Advocaten has been involved from the start of the interest rate derivatives problems in legal actions against banks and is regarded as an expert in the field of advice and litigation on interest rate derivatives. On behalf of Stichting Renteswapschadeclaim, one of the interest groups that was involved in establishing the repair framework, we have conducted an extensive class action against Rabobank.
As an interest rate specialist we are involved on a daily basis in individual interest rate files, in particular on behalf of larger SMEs. We assist business owners in all conceivable manners: a (prior) assessment of the interest rate swap file, a liability claim against the bank, loss assessment, discussions with the bank and legal proceedings against the bank.

Individual interest rate swap files

In response to the repair framework of the Derivatives Committee of 5 July 2015, we are also closely involved in the assessment of individual interest rate swap files. The compensation scheme in the repair framework is a specialist and detailed scheme; it can therefore be difficult to oversee all the possibilities and risks. To what ex gratia payments may you be eligible, for instance, and what will be done about the increase of the surcharges? It is important for you to ensure that the banks correctly perform the reassessment this time and give their customers the payment of compensation to which they are entitled. It is also important for you to establish whether accepting the repair framework is more favourable than claiming reimbursement of your entire loss: does the compensation in the repair framework offer sufficient possibilities for reimbursement of your entire loss, or should you take separate legal action?

If you have an interest rate derivative, in any form, and you wish to be assisted by a specialist in the field of interest rate swaps, please contact us. We will be pleased to review your case and assist you.