21 Nov 2022

Small and medium sized lettings agencies which have had running disputes with banks are being offered a lifeline – but must act within the next three months.

The Business Banking Resolution Service is appealing directly to business in the property sector to see if their unresolved banking disputes can be tackled.  Eligible SMEs with long-standing banking complaints must register their case with the BBRS before the historical scheme closes on February 14 next year. 

The BBRS is a not-for-profit independent service, established to resolve disputes between SMEs and their bank. The service resolves disputes based on what is fair and reasonable for each case.

Businesses going through the service will be assigned a dispute resolution specialist known as the customer champion who acts as a single point of contact and offers practical support. The BBRS can make both financial and non-financial awards when a complaint is upheld. 

The BBRS’ historical scheme covers banking complaints first registered in the period from December 1 2001 to March 31 2019. 

Businesses may qualify for support if they had turnover between £1m and £6.5m per annum at the time of their complaint and so long as their case has not already been settled, been subject to an independent review, or gone to court. This includes businesses which have since closed, merged or been sold. 

The BBRS can also assess more recent unresolved complaints through its contemporary scheme, which covers cases for the period from April 1 2019 onwards. It is for businesses with turnover up to £10m per annum, and total assets up to £7.5m, which are not eligible to take their complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service. 

aura Mahoney, head of policy and legal at the Lending Standards Board says: “Services like the BBRS help drive fair outcomes for businesses across the UK at a time when they are dealing with the impact of the cost-of-living crisis. We are calling on organisations across the UK to get in touch and find out if they are eligible for free and independent support to resolve their long-standing, unresolved disputes.” 

And BBRS customer director Dirk Paterson adds: “We want as many businesses as possible to have the opportunity to use the BBRS’ service. This includes businesses, trusts, charities, friendly societies, and co-operative societies. It includes directors of businesses no longer operating. We urge them to see if they qualify for our help and, if so, to register. If they’re unsure, businesses can check online or contact us to find out more.”     

Property businesses can check and register online at https://thebbrs.org/register   

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