The Business Banking Resolution Service (BBRS) is appealing to SMEs who will use the festive period to catch up on the tasks they have not had time for this year, to see if their unresolved banking disputes can be tackled.
The time between Christmas and New Year is one where some small business owners get round to admin they have not been able to prioritise at busier times of the year.
SMEs who have complained to their business banking provider, but were unsatisfied with the response, may use the time to pursue their remaining rights, including free and independent support from the BBRS.
The BBRS is a dispute resolution option for SME customers of Barclays Bank, Danske Bank, HSBC UK, Lloyds Banking Group, NatWest Group, Santander and Virgin Money.
To be eligible for the BBRS, businesses must have a turnover of less than £10m and a balance sheet of less than £7.5m, and not be eligible for the Financial Ombudsman Service. Complaints must relate to incidents that took place on or after 1 April 2019.
SMEs who have complained to any of these banks, but have not reached a satisfactory resolution, should be provided with a final response letter which may offer them the opportunity to escalate their case to the BBRS. Customers have only six months from the date of their final response letter to register their case with the service. SMEs that have experienced a delay in receiving a final response letter from their bank following a complaint should also get in touch, as the BBRS may be able to help.
Since its launch, the BBRS has helped many SMEs to tackle a range of highly complex business banking complaints. BBRS interventions have had a transformational impact for multiple SME owners. Resolutions have included significantly more than £1m being awarded in financial redress, and since registering with the BBRS, many more SME customers have also succeeded in renegotiating their lending terms and conditions and have been discharged from personal guarantees or had their debt recovery plans rearranged.
Dirk Paterson, Customer Director at the BBRS said: “SMEs can find it challenging to pursue banking complaints and may not have discovered the additional rights available to them. We urge businesses to check whether BBRS can help. At a time when SME owners are often catching up with tasks they didn’t get to earlier in the year, we are encouraging them to get in touch.
“‘SMEs only have six months from the date of their final response letter to register their case with the BBRS, so we urge them to see if they qualify for our help. Businesses can check online or contact us to find out more.”