Judicial Review of Financial Ombudsman Service decisions re Bank of Ireland Tracker Premium Hike

by Mark Alexander

9:45 AM, 14th April 2015
About 4 years ago

Judicial Review of Financial Ombudsman Service decisions re Bank of Ireland Tracker Premium Hike

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Judicial Review of Financial Ombudsman Service decisions re Bank of Ireland Tracker Premium Hike

Cotswold Barristers and Property118 are offering a course of action that will reward Early Adopters to fund a test case challenging the Financial Ombudsman Service (“FOS”) decisions relating to complaints raised in respect of the Bank of Ireland Tracker (“BoI”) Premium hike via a Judicial Review. 

Judicial Review of Financial Ombudsman Service decisions re Bank of Ireland Tracker Premium Hike

The purpose of the Judicial Review (“JR”) will be to place the arguments before the High Court for a declaration that the FOS has been irrational in rejecting the complaints, and for a statement of the correct legal position in the test case. This outcome, if positive, will then be available to support cases brought by other borrowers against the BoI, and if negative to bring claims in negligence against solicitors and brokers.

Early Adopters are invited to pay £1,000 into an escrow account at BARCO, which is operated by the Bar Council, the regulator of UK barristers. If at least 50 people become Early Adopters by 15th May 2015 Cotswold Barristers will prepare the necessary legal arguments to seek permission from the High Courts to commence the Judicial Review. If permission is granted Cotswold Barristers fee will be £8,000 + VAT. If permission for the review is declined or the minimum number of early adopters is not reached by 15th May the funds paid into BARCO will be refunded in full. This is the only financial obligation the early adopters will ever have to meet.

The remaining funds will be set-aside to underwrite the trial costs, which Cotswold Barristers will undertake on a no-win-no-fee basis, or to make provisions for adverse costs awards to the FOS in the event of the High Court upholding the FOS decision.

The outcome of the Judicial Review will be widely publicised and Property118 will be responsible for dealing with this, hence the requirements for continuing involvement of Property118.

After the closing date of 15th May 2015 all remaining affected borrowers will be invited to instruct Cotswold Barristers to act for them in respect of pursuing the Bank of Ireland for refunds and restoration of the correct terms on the basis that 50% of any refunds of over-payments to Bank of Ireland will be paid to Cotswold Barristers as a ‘damages based fee agreement’. If no overpayments are recovered then Cotswold Barristers will receive nothing from clients who have instructed on this basis.

Early Adopters will be represented by Cotswold Barristers in respect of refund claims and restoration of correct terms but will receive all of their potential refund, hence the incentive to become an Early Adopter. As stated above, there will be no other payment required of Early Adopters.
The risk taken by Early Adopters is that refunds cannot be guaranteed, hence a commercial decision will be necessary for anybody who makes an instruction on the basis of being an Early Adopter.

There is no guarantee that such a Judicial Review will provide a favourable ruling, hence there is a risk associated with becoming an Early Adopter, however Cotswold Barristers are sharing that risk on the basis of being paid only for results.

The letter of instruction to Cotswold Barristers in respect of becoming an Early Adopter can be found HERE



Comments

Derek Cornelius

12:53 PM, 14th April 2015
About 4 years ago

Will this effect West Brom mortgage holders too?

Mark Alexander

13:20 PM, 14th April 2015
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Derek Cornelius" at "14/04/2015 - 12:53":

It certainly can't do any harm.
.

Derek Cornelius

15:07 PM, 14th April 2015
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "14/04/2015 - 13:20":

Thanks for reply.
Thought I'd ask as I only have one mortgage with BoI which wouldn't justify the early adopter fee, but I do have 2 with West Brom... Do you think a ruling in our favour with BoI would make a favourable outcome of a similar action against West Brom more likely?
(apologies if this is a stupid question, I'd lost hope somewhat & haven't been keeping up with either of these issues)

Mark Alexander

15:13 PM, 14th April 2015
About 4 years ago

A Judicial Review is not an available option for the West Brom case. I'm not a lawyer so can't go into detail as to why but it's something to do with timing of the FOS final decision on the test case and the existing Court action.
.

Black Panther

20:19 PM, 14th April 2015
About 4 years ago

Given that you (Property 118 & Cotswolds BArristers) are asking for at least 50 Early Adopters, and have a deadline of 15th May to achieve this, before a Judicial Review would go ahead, would it be prudent to try and get some publicity, outside of this website? This would target potential Early Adopters who are not currently aware of the Property 118 website and planned action.

It might be worth contacting the Financial Press and given them an update? See if they will run a story? Is anyone out there a PR/Media person ? or have links with the media?

Graham Durkin

12:29 PM, 18th April 2015
About 4 years ago

I think this is a great opportunity for B.O.I.borrowers to come together and fight for what they believe is right,sure there is an element of risk ,but as its been explained by the Barrister there is also the risk for them.Being an early adopter gives you the best opportunity of receiving all overpayments back which I would now believe would be considerable .Raising the profile of this claim is paramount and PROPERTY 118.COM have some journalistic allies which i,m sure would like to cover this story. Its about time that the F.O.S &F.C.A. are held to account for their total disregard to those that have aired their grievances .Why would this be proposed if there wasn,t a reasonable chance of success ,and at present the B.O.I. are content that nobody has been able to galvanize the necessary support to challenge them but i,m thinking this is now about to change. Good luck and B.O.I. affected borrowers please join.

Under let Landlord

14:38 PM, 19th April 2015
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Derek Cornelius" at "14/04/2015 - 12:53":

I am not entirely sure if the case against the west brom was pleaded properly.

Mark Alexander

20:39 PM, 19th April 2015
About 4 years ago

We will find out after the appeal.

Mark Smith (Barrister-At-Law)

21:42 PM, 19th April 2015
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Under let Landlord" at "19/04/2015 - 14:38":

I guess you could say that as we did not win, but we got the case to court and worked as hard as we could on it. As the advert says, we may be behind some , but we are ahead of everyone on the sofa.

Under let Landlord

10:44 AM, 20th April 2015
About 4 years ago

The judgement seems to waver from an attempt to classify some of the terms as complimentary as opposed to contradictory in order to avoid a total reinterpretation of the contract. I do not think the explanation by Akenhead j. Is acceptable or even remotely acceptable.
Surely if two different clauses throw up two different prices for a product they must by definition be contradictory. I would much prefer if the premium of 1.99 for the term was interpreted as being a fixed rate for the term ( which except during any period etc). This would give you an argument that in respect of the interest rate there is no contradiction in any of the terms and the lender does not have the right to alter the premium as it was ' for the term'. On the point of the lender having the right to terminate a 25 year agreement I note the judge describes 25 years as a long time and he doesn't observe that 1 months notice is in one third of one percent of the term. That is a 99.7% difference in the periods but according to the judge not contradictory? I am not sure if there was a portable clause in the terms anywhere. I hope these points can lead to a clearer discussion of the issues.

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