The Case Officer is the first point of contact for a customer; they assist the customer in beginning the process and are responsible for answering general enquiries about the Scheme.
The Customer Champion is the main contact point at the BBRS for customers and banks.
Customer Champions help customers to gather all relevant information and evidence about their complaint. They also notify the bank when to provide their comments and material in response. Everything relevant is then compiled into a case file for the Case Assessor to use for resolving the dispute.
Customer Champions also identify opportunities when more informal dispute resolution methods might be suitable, and can suggest potential courses of action to both parties.
Customer Champions have wide experience in case handling and understand the relevant dispute resolution mechanisms which are available at the BBRS. They help identify early signs of ineligibility for the service, perform case assembly, have experience dealing with queries in a professional, empathetic and courteous manner – especially in instances where potential vulnerability exists – and they help navigate customers throughout their case to resolution. Customer Champions will offer guidance to customers, but cannot offer legal or other advice.
All Case Assessors are appointed by the BBRS and are primarily responsible for deciding the outcome of disputes between customers and banks.
Case Assessors conduct a thorough review of the evidence contained in a case file, ask for further evidence if they think anything is missing or would assist them with their decision, and then make an independent adjudication based on the evidence provided to achieve a fair and reasonable outcome.
A Case Assessor initially considers the eligibility of a customer and their complaint for the BBRS scheme. If assessed to be ineligible, the Case Assessor explains the reasons why, including signposting to alternative schemes, if applicable.
Case Assessors also seek opportunities to use alternative resolution mechanisms outside of investigative adjudication, like mediation.
Case Assessors will consider the evidence that has been provided by both parties, and sometimes ask for further evidence to assist with a resolution. Case assessors are responsible for issuing a formal outcome of a dispute: their decision and reasons for it are documented, and presented to both parties at the same time.
If a complaint is upheld by the Case Assessor, they also decide on the award of compensation – whether a financial award (including interest and/or consequential loss where applicable), compensation for distress and inconvenience, and/or some other action on the part of the bank. Case Assessors also sit on 3-person appeal panels (which may include the Chief Adjudicator and/or Deputy Chief Adjudicator) if either side can show specific grounds for disputing a determination or an eligibility decision.
Our Case Handlers work closely with Customer Champions to receive and organise documents received from both parties. They provide expert administrative help to the Customer Champion and are experienced in receiving high volumes of documentation to scan, sort and categorise. Guided by the Customer Champion, Case Handlers can organise and index case supporting evidence.
Case Handlers also carry out various other administrative activities, such as supporting the BBRS contact centre, which receives and directs inbound calls, emails and post from customers and banks.
At the heart of our operation is our Chief Adjudicator, who has overall responsibility for dispute resolution, investigation and adjudication within the BBRS. The Chief Adjudicator has authority to take the appropriate steps needed to secure a fair and reasonable outcome. The post is currently held by Alexandra Marks.
The Chief Adjudicator oversees the review of complaints and appeals handled by the BBRS. Working with the Customer Champions and Case Assessors, and within the scheme rules, she determines eligibility and the appropriate approach for handling complaints. She oversees decision-making and the appeals process, and sets the nature and tone of customer communications. She will highlight lessons learned and will be able to flag any concerns that she has as the service evolves.