Paul Adcock
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Mis-sold contracts "tore the soul out of the business"

Major High Street lenders have been accused of selling complex financial contracts to small business clients without properly explaining the risks involved.

The products were offered to thousands of small firms including pub owners, haulage firms, care-home operators and vets, when they asked their bank to take out a loan.

The borrowers were told that the product would provide an "insurance" or "hedge" against the risk of interest rates rising.

But with interest rates having instead fallen since 2008 to historic lows, many of these businesses have discovered they are now sitting on tens of thousands of pounds in losses.

Paul Adcock runs a refrigeration business and he told the BBC's Robert Peston that the scheme "tore the soul out" of his business.