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The Business Banking Resolution Service (BBRS) publishes Post Implementation Review Part 1

28 February 2022

The Business Banking Resolution Service (BBRS) has today published the first part of its Post Implementation Review (PIR). An independent, external panel conducted the review into the set-up of the BBRS.

The purpose of PIR part 1 was to consider how well the establishment of the BBRS reflected the build requirements as set out in the UK Finance response to the Walker Report and in the Implementation Steering Group Terms of Reference (ISG ToR).

As part of their work, the review panel ran in-depth interviews with representatives from the SME and banking community as well as from within the BBRS.

Key findings from the report include:

  1. The BBRS is independent in its leadership, governance and adjudication process
    1. The report confirmed the set-up of the BBRS provides a structure and process that is independent of the banks and the SME community
    2. The BBRS has its own board of independent directors and Articles of Association
    3. The Chief Adjudicator has total independence when making determinations on complaints that fall within the Scheme Rules
  1. The report confirmed there is nothing to indicate that determinations of eligible complaints would be or have been anything other than fair and reasonable.
  1. The BBRS largely reflects the ISG ToR
    1. The legal architecture and scheme rules of the BBRS had the approval of all ISG members
    2. All parties were present at the final agreement and subsequent closure of the ISG
    3. The eligibility criteria referred to in the current Scheme Rules differ to some extent from those included in the initial ISG terms of reference. Some were widened to extend a larger complaints time period, and some were clarified to dovetail with the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS)
  1. There was an over estimation in the numbers of eligible complaints forecast by the ISG
    1. Assumptions were made based on estimates contained in the Walker Review, which were confirmed by various stakeholders involved at the ISG stage
    2. BBRS has since commissioned data driven research by Bayes Business School which shows that the numbers of potential customers are more likely to be closer to a sixth of the original estimate
    3. The BBRS was designed for a higher number of complaints and the legal architecture and systems are complex to reflect this
    4. The report highlights that this complexity is also driven by requirements such as data security
  1. The BBRS does not have the power to change the scheme rules
    1. The BBRS is an independent body which does not have the powers to change the scheme rules within which it operates
    2. The only way to make changes to the rules is by agreement of all parties. Further sign posting on how to change these rules are needed

Mark Grimshaw, CEO of the BBRS said: “We welcome the findings of the report. 

“I’m pleased to say the report concluded that the current operational set up of the BBRS largely reflects the ToR of the ISG and the UK Finance response to the Walker Report.

“We are delighted that a range of stakeholders including SMEs used this opportunity to express their views on the set up of the BBRS and fully engage in the review process.

“It’s reassuring that the report shows we are independent in our leadership, governance and adjudication process.

“The report does however confirm that the BBRS’ set up was designed for a larger number of cases than the organisation can reach within the current scheme rules. This conclusion was mirrored in our own recent research findings and we are currently exploring options of how this can be addressed going forward.

“We’re working hard to get as many historical cases registered as possible by the deadline of 14 Feb 2023 as well as attracting contemporary cases.”

The BBRS continues to work within the eligibility criteria established in the scheme rules and is focused on delivering on adjudication and mediation to get resolutions to banking disputes where there is a legitimate claim.

The next stage of the PIR process will be to examine the operational effectiveness of the BBRS. This process is expected to take place later in 2022.

The full report can be viewed here.

– ENDS –

Notes to Editors

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Post Implementation Review Terms of Reference

The purpose of the PIR is to review how well the BBRS has delivered the recommendations contained in the UK Finance response to the Walker Report (the Recommendations), by:

  • assessing the nature and scope of the service set out in the legal architecture of  the BBRS as approved by the ISG against the Recommendations.
  • Assessing how the ISG went about its work in establishing the BBRS (e.g., its processes and stakeholder engagement).
  • Reviewing the ability of the BBRS within the established framework, to deliver the principles set out in the Terms of Reference from the ISG:
    1. independent leadership and governance.
    2. ability to draw on expertise, including legal expertise.
    3. fair and reasonable decision making.
    4. transparency (e.g., through being able to receive in-person or written testimony from businesses).
    5. the ability to receive and deal with appeals against its decisions; call for relevant evidence on specific issues from either party to a dispute; deal with consequential loss claims; refer businesses to alternative fora if this may be more appropriate.