The Business Banking Resolution Service is now live

The Business Banking Resolution Service ("BBRS") was launched last week and is now accepting complaints after more than two years in the making.

What is the BBRS?

The BBRS is an independent forum to resolve disputes between eligible businesses and participating banks. It is free to access and was borne out of a review launched by UK Finance in spring 2018 into the complaints and Alternative Dispute Resolution ("ADR") landscape for the UK SME Market (the "Walker Review"). The full findings can be found here, but in summary its focus was on SME customers that had made a complaint following the financial crisis of 2008, but might not have had access to an ADR process if they were unhappy with the outcome. It identified three areas where action could be taken to improve arrangements for SMEs.

UK Finance's response, dated 1 December 2018 outlines a series of proposals made by seven UK banks operating in the SME market to help put right the issues outlined in the Walker Review. The ADR service which has become the BBRS is one of these.

Plans were set in motion when an independent steering group (chaired by Lewis Shand-Smith) was set up in early 2019. Since then the steering group has worked with the banking sector and key stakeholder groups (such as the APPG on fair business banking and SME Alliance) to bring about the scheme. A live pilot took place in 2020 and feedback from this was considered before the full launch on 15 February 2021.  

Who can access the BBRS?

The service is designed to provide larger SMEs who are ineligible for other existing dispute resolution services (like the FOS) with an alternative to litigation. It is made up of two schemes:

  • The historical scheme (for complaints relating to accidents or omissions which took place between 1 December 2001 – 31 March 2019)
  • The contemporary scheme (for complaints relating to accidents or omissions which took place after 1 April 2019)

To be eligible for either scheme:

  • The complaint must be against one of the banks participating in the BBRS (a current list can be found in the BBRS' FAQs)
  • The complaint must not be, or have been, eligible for the FOS (and in the case of the historic scheme, one of the other excluded schemes)
  • The complaint must not have been subject to or been through litigation or been settled

The business must also meet certain other criteria (including financial criteria such as maximum turnover / balance sheet thresholds). These vary depending on which scheme your complaint falls under. For full details of the criteria and how to raise a complaint, visit the BBRS' website.   For more information on the BBRS, dispute resolution or related issues, please get in touch.

Key Contacts