UBS and Credit Suisse owe up to 200,000 Brits compensation – are you owed thousands?.

UP to 200,000 British investors may be able to claim thousands of pounds back after Swiss banks wrongfully claimed commission fees.

But the clock is ticking for those affected to claw back their money, as the right to claim a fee charged to clients in 2009 will expire at the end of 2019.

 Banks based in Switzerland may owe thousands in compensation

Banks based in Switzerland may owe thousands in compensation Credit: Getty - Contributor

The commission fees — or "retrocessions" — were a lucrative component of Swiss investment practice for many years.

But they were usually added without clients' informed consent by banks including Credit Suisse and UBS.

A 2012 ruling changed that.

Swiss courts ruled that unless fees were charged to clients with explicit authorisation, banks and asset managers are prohibited from retaining them. They must hand the commissions back to investors who request them, plus a 5 per cent interest rate for late payment.

Litigation funding firm Liti-Link says someone who invested assets of £500,000 in the years up to 2009 could be owed approximately £5,000 in retrocessions.

Its CEO Hubert Schwaerzler said: "Just like the PPI scandal, many investors have no idea they were fleeced by the people they trusted with their money. Now it's time to claw back the thousands of pounds they took.

"We urge anyone who has invested in Swiss banks over the last decade to contact Liti-Link as soon as possible."

The latest stories from the City

COMPANIES in the news include EasyJet, Games Workshop and Standard Chartered.

EasyJet has bought Thomas Cook’s take-off and landing slots at Gatwick and Bristol airports for £36 million. Meanwhile, rival airline Jet2 has landed the failed travel firm’s slots at Manchester, Birmingham and Stansted for an undisclosed amount.

Games Workshop, the manufacturer of Warhammer fantasy figurines, saw its shares jump when it said that half-year profit would be 34 per cent higher than last year. Shares in the Nottingham-based firm have risen by more than 700 per cent in the past three years, giving it a market value of £1.7 billion.

Meanwhile, the boss and finance chief of Standard Chartered bank have agreed to cut their remuneration packages after facing an angry backlash from shareholders. They had been the only two employees at Standard Chartered to receive pension payments of 20 per cent of their salaries from the business but will now see this reduced to 10 per cent.

Elsewhere, more than £300billion has been wiped off the fortunes of the world’s billionaires after a strong dollar and volatile stock markets caused their wealth to shrink for the first time in five years. The fortunes of the world’s richest 2,101 people dropped by more than 4 per cent to $8.5 trillion (£6.6 trillion) in 2018 as the number of billionaires fell by 57, according to a report from UBS and PwC.

While Liti-Link has been “inundated” with claims by foreign investors from Italy, Germany and beyond, British investors have been slow to act.

It is offering to pursue claims for UK savers, in return for a 40 per cent cut of any winnings.

Over 90 per cent of Liti-Link’s clients have received a payout so far, the firm claims.

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