A new, not-for-profit free dispute resolution service, the Business Banking Resolution Service (BBRS) is appealing directly to third sector organisations to see if their unresolved banking disputes can be tackled.
Charities, trusts and similar organisations with a turnover of £1m+ during the past 20 years which have unresolved banking complaints – and their directors and board members – could qualify for BBRS’ free support, even if no longer operating
The BBRS is a non-profit organisation set up to resolve disputes between eligible small to medium enterprise including businesses, charities, trusts and similar. It was established in response to the commitments made by the banking and finance industry following the 2018 Simon Walker Review, which identified the need for an independent service to resolve eligible historical and current business banking complaints for larger SMEs, typically outside the Financial Ombudsman Service’s jurisdiction.
The BBRS’ service can also avoid the need and cost for charities to go to court to find a resolution to long-standing banking disputes.
If the BBRS upholds a complaint, it can make a financial or non-financial award against a bank, up to £350,000 for Historical Cases and £600,000 for Contemporary Cases (and it can recommend more).
The BBRS is urging organisations with outstanding banking disputes to see if they can apply for support by getting in touch or using a quick online tool, particularly those with older unresolved complaints, as the deadline for historical complaint applications is 14 February 2023.
The BBRS is fully independent and free to use. The process is overseen by Chief Adjudicator, Alexandra Marks CBE, a Deputy High Court Judge, and resolves disputes based on what is fair and reasonable for each case. Businesses going through the service will be assigned a highly skilled dispute resolution specialist, who will act as a single point of contact and offer practical support.
Dirk Paterson, Customer Director, BBRS, said: “We want as many charities and social enterprises as possible – and directors of those no longer operating – to have the opportunity to use the BBRS’ service. We urge them to see if they qualify for our help and, if so, to register. If unsure, businesses can check online or contact us to discuss their situation.”
The BBRS can also assess more recent ongoing complaints through its Contemporary Scheme, which covers cases for the period from 1 April 2019 onwards: it is for businesses with turnover up to £10m per annum; and total assets up to £7.5m; and which are not eligible to take their complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
The BBRS’ Historical Scheme covers banking complaints first registered in the period from 1 December 2001 to 31 March 2019. Businesses may qualify for support if they had turnover between £1 million and £6.5 million per annum at the time of their complaint, and their case has not already been settled, been subject to an independent review, or gone to court. Businesses with turnover between £6.5m and £10m with unresolved banking complaints since April 2019 can apply to the BBRS’ Contemporary Scheme for support.
Find out more, contact the BBRS (or arrange a call-back) and use a quick online checking tool to see if they can help: www.thebbrs.org/register