UK growers urged to seek help with banking disputes


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12 August 2022
Assistance scheme closed on February 14th.

UK GROWERS have six months remaining to register unresolved historical banking complaints with the Business Banking Resolution Service (BBRS).

THE Business Banking Resolution Service (BBRS) is appealing to UK growers 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 scheme closes on February 14th, 2023.   
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 scheme covers banking complaints first registered in the period from December 2001 to March 31st 2019. Businesses may qualify for support if they had turnover between £1 million and £6.5 million per annum at the time of their complaint, and 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 1st, 2019 onwards. It is open to businesses with turnover up to £10 million per annum, and total assets up to £7.5 million, which are not eligible to take their complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service. 
Since the BBRS went live in February 2021 it has resolved a range of disputes from both the historical and contemporary schemes. Some of these cases have progressed right through the BBRS system and have received an adjudication, which, when upheld in the customer’s favour, recommends what the bank can do to put things right. The BBRS has also seen multiple examples of cases being resolved outside the formal adjudication process, with banks and customers resolving their complaint via a settlement or meditation. In these cases, the BBRS plays a key role in getting the two sides around the table to reach a resolution. 
Growers and other agricultural businesses can check and register online here.   

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