UK FCA past business reviews: what duties, if any, do financial institutions owe directly to customers? High Court finds no contractual obligations, but tortious duties are arguable

The recent and somewhat surprising decision of the High Court in Suremime Limited v Barclays Bank plc [2015] EWHC 2277 (QB) is important to any financial institution that has agreed to conduct an FCA past business review or redress exercise.

In particular, the court has held that it is arguable that such institutions owe duties of care in tort, such that customers would have private law rights of action against the institution if the terms agreed with the FCA are not followed. However, the existence of such rights has not been finally determined by the court because the questions arose in the context of an interim application to amend Particulars of Claim. Continue reading