Abhishek Sachdev, MD of Vedanta Hedging is interviewed by Lianna Brinded from the International BusinessTimes regarding interest rate swap mis-selling to small businesses.
Abhishek Sachdev worked at the Treasury for a short time and then at Lloyds for nearly 10 years and one of his areas was the hedging department. That department would provide derivatives products for large and small businesses, which led to some businesses such as hotels buying £200m-£300m hedging products.
“When I sat around a table with the big accountancy firms, chartered surveyors and various other firms, I realised that most of them were clueless and had little idea as to the true nature of these products and how detrimental it could be if they made poor hedging decisions,” said Sachdev, who is now managing director at Vedanta Hedging.
Many of them are claiming that over the years, the banks mis-sold them IRSAs through unsolicited approaches, lack of communication, clear documentation to sign, and in some cases products that are longer than the life of the loan, when all they wanted in the first place was a simple mortgage.
“After working in this area for a long time, I realised, that there was almost nowhere for SMEs to turn to for truly impartial independent advice on hedging. Almost all banks write in their terms and conditions that the SME must seek their own independent advice,” said Sachdev, who is also an expert witness in a number of ongoing mis-selling court cases and is therefore restricted from giving more details of specific examples.
“However, a solicitor or accountant is not FSA-authorised to advise on these products. Until recently, there were no companies authorised by the FSA to give derivative advice to SMEs, so where these businesses supposed to turn to? This led me to create Vedanta Hedging which is FSA-authorised, in order to provide more transparency when SMEs are seeking new or additional hedging,” he added.
The full article is here: