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Burnley 'rate swap' hotel boss protests at House of Commons
A HOTEL boss left £600,000 out of pocket due to the ‘rate-swap’ scandal took his protest to the House of Commons yesterday.
Stefan Sikorski, who owns the Oaks Hotel in Reedley, Higher Trapp at Fence and The Old Mill Hotel, Ramsbottom, said the mis-selling of interest rates by banks to business was ‘a bigger scandal than PPI’.
He said he had been ‘put in a position of duress’ by his bank Barclays during the signing of one hotel contract.
Mr Sikorski, managing director of Lavender Hotels, said he felt much more confident after spending three hours in the House of Commons debating room at the invitation of Ramsbottom MP David Nuttall.
He said: “I am a private businessman that rarely looks to the spotlight for anything, including furthering my own interests, but this is an outrage and the way that it has been handled compounded problems.
“I feel that I must speak out to protect my workforce and to raise awareness that this has happened. It’s a disgrace.”
Since June 2012, around £2million has been returned to 32 small businesses in compensation for mis-sold interest rates, but Mr Sikorski said 30,000 companies had been affected.
He added that while his losses did not damage the hotel chain, they did prevent further investment and expansion.
He said: “I have a compensation claim in but have not been offered a single penny back. Businesses need banks but they cannot expect to foster growth without trust.
“There needs to be a line drawn under the mis-selling scandal in order to re-instate that trust.”
A review by the Financial Services Authority found that more than 90 per cent of interest rate swaps had been mis-sold since 2001.
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