Skipton Building Society Legal Action

by Mark Alexander

14:00 PM, 2nd April 2014
About 7 years ago

Skipton Building Society Legal Action

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Skipton Building Society Legal Action

In 2010 the Skipton Building Society broke a promise to over 60,000 mortgage account holders. 

The basis of that promise was that their mortgage rate would never exceed 3% over the Bank of England base rate – it did – CONSIDERABLY!Skipton Building Society Legal Action

The hike in monthly payments for a person with a £150,000 interest only mortgage has been around £181.25 per month!

Affected borrowers include both home-owners and buy to let landlords.

At the time a small group sought legal advice but insufficient funds were raised to challenge the matter in Court. Looking back at what happened I can only assume this was due to lack of marketing expertise within the campaign group which set out to challenge Skipton.

Given that the rate hike occurred over four years ago the Skipton probably think they have got away with this and are home and dry. Several borrowers have sold their properties or refinanced onto different deals but this makes no difference, they all have a potential claim for compensation.

Saqib Mahmood

Saqib Mahmood – affected borrower

Saqib Mahmood, a non-practising Barrister was affected by the rate hike to his personal mortgage and another on a buy to let deal. Mr Mahmood was part of the initial campaign group and admits “the campaign got nowhere due to lack of marketing expertise. The case we had was strong and Skipton have already capitulated for one borrower to avoid Court Action. I am delighted that Mark Alexander and his team at have picked up the gauntlet on this one. I am also affected by the West Brom rate hike”.

Mr Mahmood was also keen to point out what he refers to as ‘the Gerald Ratner moment of the Skipton CEO’. This dates back to 5th March 2009 when the Bank of England base rate fell to 1%. At the time the Skipton chief executive David Cutter told FT Adviser “We have pledged our residential SVR will never be more than 3 per cent above base rate and, even with this at its lowest level for 315 years, we will honour our promise.” – LINK

The Legal Action Campaign Against Skipton Building Society

On the back of organising a successful campaign which raised over £450,000 to mount a legal challenge against the West Bromwich Mortgage Company (whose borrowers are affected by a similar issue) has sought Counsels opinion on the conduct of Skipton Building Society. Counsel is so confident that he can get the Skipton’s decision reversed if the matter goes to Court that he is willing to work on a “no-win-no-fee” basis to achieve this. His objective will be to get the terms enforced and claim compensation backdated to the date of the increase. However, this will be subject to recruiting borrowers with a minimum combined total of 500 affected mortgage accounts.

NOTE – No-win-no-fee agreements are also known as a CFA (Conditional Fee Agreement) or a DBA (Damages Based Agreement).

The case will be run on similar terms to the legal action against West Bromwich Mortgage Company, i.e. one borrower will represent all those who instruct Counsel to challenge the legality of the rate hike. Any Court order will only apply to the mortgage accounts represented by the legal action. In other words, there will be no free rides.

There will be two representative legal challenges, one on behalf of consumers (i.e. homeowners and landlords with only one buy to let mortgage) and the other on behalf of landlords with two or more buy to let mortgages.

The Barrister we have engaged is Mark Smith of Cotswold Barristers. This is due to his experience in these matters having taken on the UK’s largest ever direct access barristers case against the West Bromwich Mortgage Company.

Costs and mitigation of risk

Cotswold Barristers will administer the action, Innovative Landlord Solutions LLP (the owners of will be responsible for driving the campaign and associated marketing.

We are not asking anybody to part with any money at this stage. However, to fund the campaign, at some point, we will need to begin fundraising to pay for administration and marketing. We will let you know more about this in due course.

Once an initial target of 500 instructions has been obtained, pre-action protocol proceedings will be initiated and papers will be served to the Courts 90 days thereafter. This 90 day period will be known as the Countdown period.

Mark Smith (Barrister-At-Law) will earn nothing unless he wins the case or arranges a settlement for the clients he is representing.

Skipton No Win No Fee

During the Countdown period Counsel will also organise ATE insurance or litigation funding to protect claimants against adverse costs in the event of the legal action failing and the others sides legal costs being ordered to be paid by the group. The case will not proceed if this risk cannot be mitigated, either by these routes or by self-insurance, a model that has worked with great success in the West Brom case.

Legal Action Objective

The objective of the legal action is for the 3% interest rate cap to be Court ordered and backdated to the commencement of the affected mortgages. In other words, those who sign up to this action could receive a lump sum refund (less costs) and lower mortgage payments moving forwards. If the barrister fails to achieve this objective he will be paid nothing for his efforts. If the case succeeds a percentage of the overpayment will be retained to pay ATE insurance, other expenses, and Counsels fee.

For more details please search Google for “Property118 Skipton Building Society Legal Action”

To register your interest please complete the form below.

Legal Action - Expression of interest form

You will not be committing to anything by completing this form but please only do so if you are an affected borrower, or were previously affected if your mortgage with Skipton building Society has been redeemed.


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The Man From Nowhere

22:17 PM, 16th April 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Anne Nixon" at "16/04/2014 - 21:06":


You're more than welcome. If everyone on here makes contact with their MP (please request a meeting with your MP if possible so you can explain the circumstances surrounding this case face to face), then we'll really be cooking on gas!

Paul Norris

17:36 PM, 19th June 2014
About 6 years ago

I recently sent my MP the PDF and a cover email in regard to this potential legal action and I have had a response from my MP's office to say that they are looking into it and will come back to me shortly.
How is everyone else getting on?.. there doesn't seem to have been much activity here on the blog recently.

Mark Alexander

17:45 PM, 19th June 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Paul Norris" at "19/06/2014 - 17:36":

I think it will pick up when the West Brom Court Case begins and the press are all over it, and especially so if when we win our day in Court.

John Mac

16:53 PM, 22nd July 2014
About 6 years ago

At last!....some meaningful support and a campaign I can get behind. I am yet another victim of the Skipton SVR hike and to say it has been a disaster for me personally is an understatement.

My house has since been repossessed by the Skipton, my marriage broke up as a result of subsequent financial issues, my ex partner has gone bankrupt and I am left with a bill for over 60k! The Skipton has made it clear they want every penny back and despite my protests will not back down and are adding charges to that amount.

I know for a fact this would never have happened had it not been for the SVR hike. We chose to remain with the Skipton following the chairman's infamous "we will not increase" statement.

I want compensation for the financial ruin caused by their actions, not just for the additional monies paid as a result of the rate hike!

Anne Nixon

19:03 PM, 25th February 2015
About 6 years ago

Skipton Building Society today announce a 75% rise in pre-tax profits for the last year hmmm. Perhaps they will re-instate the 3% above base rate I signed up to when I took out my mortgage with them? I won't hold my breath!

Viv King

18:42 PM, 17th March 2015
About 6 years ago

Is this still progressing?
Had a call from amber today (customer service!) asking if I'd cope with a rate increase if boe puts rates up!
Needless to say I gave them short shrift.

Mark Alexander

20:54 PM, 17th March 2015
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Viv King" at "17/03/2015 - 18:42":

Hi Viv

I'm finding it difficult to reach out to affected borrowers which shouldn't be the case with there being so many of you.

To answer your question, this is on the back burner. When we get a result on similar cases against BoI or West Brom (which are better supported) there is a good chance that the publicity will help this cause, rest assured we will mention this.

Viv King

16:05 PM, 19th March 2015
About 6 years ago

thanks Mark

I've sent you a connection request on linkedin.

I own the UKIFA group with 7000 members, is there anything we can do there to highlight all these cases??


Mark Alexander

16:28 PM, 19th March 2015
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Viv King" at "19/03/2015 - 16:05":

Yes please!

I will accept your request momentarily.

Neil Patterson

11:09 AM, 18th July 2016
About 4 years ago

Latest Mortgage Strategy article “Landlords to start legal action against BoI and Skipton next month”

Please see >>

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