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BBRS Chair comments on scheme’s transition to going live

The Chair of the BBRS, Lewis Shand Smith, today described the positive environment for the launch of the service as it entered its autumn transition to going live. The new service undertook a Live Pilot over the summer, and has now entered the phase which will enable it to go live for all potential customers. This involves working through the necessary legal, technological and operational milestones needed to make the service available to many thousands of SMEs across the UK.

Commenting on progress, Mr Shand Smith said:

“We’re about to go live with a service for thousands of SMEs.

“We’re getting ready to launch and we are poised to deliver access to justice to thousands of bank business customers with historic and contemporary complaints.

“We expect to deal with 5,000-6,000 historic cases in our first three years of operation. We are also alive to the fact that the current crisis has the potential to trigger additional contemporary cases. These two workstreams will be the core of our operation.

“The service is broader and better than originally envisaged.

“We’ll meet and exceed the original vision of the Walker Report by being able to engage not only with those mainstream cases, but also by considering cases which are at the margins of eligibility, as well as cases involving businesses which are insolvent.

“Organisations representing hundreds of thousands of businesses back our plans.

“In the summer, we conducted a wide-ranging consultation exercise, eliciting responses from business groups representing hundreds of thousands of enterprises across the country. With one voice, they supported our overall ambitions for the scheme.

“Our service has been designed by SMEs and banks working together: our customers rate it very highly.

“Independent research among the users of the pilot service found they all rated it 10/10 in terms of the quality of support and attention they received.

“The service has been designed by a group comprising SMEs, banks and other stakeholders, and not by the BBRS. We’d encourage any business wanting information about how the service will work to get it touch.”