Free banking dispute resolution service appeals to charities to get in touch

Melanie May | 4 November 2021 | News

two women both in white shirts sit at a table, one taking notes on a notepad, and the other leafing through documents

Not-for-profit free dispute resolution service the Business Banking Resolution Service (BBRS) is appealing to third sector organisations to get in touch to see if it can help them tackle their unresolved banking disputes.

Charities, trusts and similar organisations with a turnover of £1m+ during the past 20 years and unresolved banking complaints, along with their directors and board members, could qualify for BBRS’s free support, even if no longer operating.

The BBRS 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.

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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 can also recommend more.

Organisations can see if they might be eligible for support by getting in touch or using BBRS’s online tool. It is particularly urging those with older unresolved complaints to take a look with the deadline for historical complaint applications 14 February 2023.

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 is 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. Organisations going through the service will be assigned a 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.”