SME service for bank complaints goes live

19 Feb 2021

A new service designed to resolve disputes between eligible small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and participating banks has gone live.

The Business Banking Resolution Service (BBRS) has been established following the Simon Walker Review on the small business complaints landscape.

It will use alternative dispute resolution techniques to settle unresolved complaints from larger SMEs with seven participating banks who make up the majority of the business banking market.

There will be an awards limit of £350,000 for historic claims and a £650,000 limit for future claims. The intention is to move to a default position whereby the full amount of any claim should be paid without limit.

The BBRS has engaged the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) to provide flexible case-handling capacity to support the delivery of the service alongside the BBRS' own in-house team.

Martin McTague, National Vice Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said: 'Access to finance will be absolutely critical to small firms as the economy recovers. That's why it's been worrying to see some stuck between a rock and a hard place where redress is concerned: too big for the Financial Ombudsman Service, too small for the courts.

'We believe the BBRS can provide a meaningful option for these firms in future. Delivery is key, and we'll work closely with the service to ensure it is fulfilling its function effectively.'

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