It’s the ticking time bomb the banking industry really doesn’t like to talk about. Trying to fight the banks over the alleged mis-selling of these derivatives is like a journeyman flyweight squaring off against Mike Tyson in his prime. But what if 100 journeymen flyweights banded together?
Enterprising law firms have signed up a mass of cases and feel they have a shot at what could be a very big pie, even if it involves taking on the City’s top law firms.
So far a handful of early swaps claims have been quietly settled, allowing the City to basically ignore the issue. The consensus view is that you simply can’t quantify the potential exposures.
This has worked in the Chancellor’s favour, and has allowed him to sell off a couple of decent-sized tranches of Lloyds shares at a profit to taxpayers. But if he wants to sell any more he might be best to get moving. The dam behind which a very large number of swaps claims are pushing could soon burst.