Where a firm has given an undertaking or a court has ruled the firm's term unfair, then the FSA considers it desirable that the firm should promptly notify clients with whom it has already concluded contracts of the effect the undertaking or ruling will have on their contracts.
The firm should also, as part of its risk management, consider the effect on its own business, including whether there are relevant risks which need mitigation. For example, firms should consider the effect of regulation 8 of the Regulations which provides that an unfair term is not binding on the consumer, but that the contract will continue to bind the parties if it is capable of continuing in existence without the unfair term. The mitigation may involve the firm contacting existing customers to ask that they agree to an amended contract, although any such amendment will itself need to avoid unfairness within the meaning of the Regulations and to comply with the law of contract generally.
As part of their risk management, firms that have not themselves given an undertaking or been subject to a court decision should remain alert to undertakings or court decisions about other firms, since these will be of potential value in indicating the likely attitude of the courts, the FSA, the OFT or other qualifying bodies to similar terms or to terms with similar effects.
Status: You are viewing the version of the handbook as on 2009-03-31.