The APPG has accepted its place on UK Finance’s Dispute Resolution Service (DRS) Implementation Steering Group (ISG), joining other key stakeholders to design and implement a historic compensation scheme and a new dispute resolution mechanism for disputes between businesses and financial institutions. Participation in the scheme presents a vital opportunity to establish a scheme that provides compensation for historic cases and levels the playing field between businesses and their finance providers for future generations.
Since the APPG was established in 2012, it has worked to achieve compensation and justice for the victims of numerous episodes of business banking misconduct and fraud. We now have the opportunity to provide compensation to as many victims as possible and to provide closure to those whose lives have been devastated by the actions of financial institutions. We hope that this scheme is now a first step is restoring the relationship between businesses and financial institutions and will boost the confidence of SMEs for the future.
Although we have accepted our place on the ISG, there are various outstanding concerns that must be addressed before the schemes can command the confidence of business owners. We do, however, believe that these concerns are addressable and can be worked through in collaboration with the other members of the ISG, particularly now Lewis Shand Smith has offered a voting place to SME Alliance. We will continue to press for inclusion of, and engagement with, other victims’ groups and we would like to see observer status invitations extended to Ian Lightbody (NAB Customer Support Group) and Brian Little (adviser to the DUP).
Kevin Hollinrake MP, co-Chair of the APPG on Fair Business Banking said: “our priority has always been to achieve a system of redress that will provide fair and adequate compensation for the victims of the scandalous behaviour of the banks. We now have the opportunity to do just that. There are a number of outstanding concerns with the schemes, but we believe they are addressable, and we look forward to working with the ISG to making sure that both schemes are fit for purpose.”
There must now be a discussion of the turnover thresholds that decide the eligibility for the historic scheme. We maintain the position that it is illogical and unfair that the forward-looking scheme would have a threshold of £10m but a backward-looking scheme has a turnover limit of £6.5m. We must also not leave behind those who have gone through an ad hoc redress scheme but feel that they have not been able to access a fair and impartial dispute resolution mechanism