The fourth debate this year on the subject of banks’ treatment of businesses in distress (or not) is to be held on 9th October 2018.

Previous debates have focussed on the specific case of firms caught up in RBS’s Global Recovery Group and their campaign to get compensation and, more lately, a broader campaign to establish as system of complaint and restitution outside of formal legal action. This might be thought of as being something akin to a commercial Financial Services Ombudsman.  An All Party Action Group exists to promote this idea and it has both sympathy and support of the financial regulator the FCA.

In January 2018 the FCA published CP18/3: Consultation on SME access to the Financial Ombudsman Service and Feedback to DP15/7: SMEs as Users of Financial Services.  The Chief Executive Andrew Bailey commented that:

‘It is important for everyone, including financial services firms, that there is an effective dispute resolution mechanism for businesses. Our evidence suggests some small businesses currently find it hard to achieve a fair outcome in disputes with financial services firms because court action is not a realistic option for them.  We have considered what could be done within our powers and the remit of the Financial Ombudsman Service to improve this situation and are proposing to expand access to the Ombudsman.’

A response to this consultation is expected shortly.

The APPG on Fair Business Banking has produced its own briefing for the debate.  A previous Library briefing produced in July 2018 can be found here.  

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