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Businesses only have one year left to register unresolved historical banking complaints with the Business Banking Resolution Service (BBRS)

24 February 2022

  • The BBRS is urging businesses with banking disputes that took place between 1 December 2001 and 31 March 2019 to check if they should register via a quick online tool.
  • The historical scheme will close for new complaints on 14 February 2023

The Business Banking Resolution Service (BBRS) is an independent and free dispute resolution service. The BBRS is appealing directly to the businesses to see if their unresolved banking disputes can be tackled.

The BBRS resolves disputes based on what is fair and reasonable for each case. Businesses going through the service will be assigned a dispute resolution specialist, who will act as a single point of contact and offer practical support. The BBRS can make both financial and non-financial awards when a complaint is upheld.

The BBRS’ Historical Scheme covers banking complaints first registered in the period from 1 December 2001 to 31 March 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 1 April 2019 onwards: it is for businesses with turnover up to £10m per annum; and total assets up to £7.5m; and which are not eligible to take their complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Businesses with outstanding historical banking disputes are urged to see if they can apply for support using a quick online tool as the deadline for historical complaint applications is just one year away, closing on 14 February 2023. Professional services businesses are also encouraged to see if their clients could be eligible for the BBRS.

Paul Scully MP, Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets, said: “It is important that businesses who have unresolved disputes with their bank check to see if they can receive BBRS support. Services like the BBRS play a vital role in ensuring SME and their owners, past and present, can access expert advice. The BBRS supports business to address unresolved banking complaints. This service is vital to the UK economy as we bounce back from this pandemic and look to the future.”

Dirk Paterson, Customer Director at the BBRS said: “We want as many businesses as possible to have the opportunity to use the BBRS’ service. This includes businesses, trusts, charities, friendly societies, and co-operative societies. It includes directors of businesses no longer operating. We urge them to see if they qualify for our help and, if so, to register. If they’re unsure, businesses can check online or contact us to find out more.”

SECTOR/REGION BUSINESSES can check and register online at: 

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Notes to Editors

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About the BBRS

The BBRS is a non-profit dispute resolution service set up to resolve disputes between eligible small and medium sized businesses and participating banks. It was established as part of a voluntary commitment following the Simon Walker Review on SME business banking complaints.

The seven participating banks are: Barclays, Danske Bank, HSBC UK, Lloyds Banking Group (including Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland), NatWest Group (including Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest and Ulster Bank Northern Ireland), Santander UK plc, Virgin Money (including Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank). Alongside the participating banks, the BBRS has been set up in collaboration with representative groups acting on behalf of small and medium sized businesses.

BBRSsummaryeligibility criteria

The BBRS is open to businesses with unresolved complaints against their bank who are or were, a:

  • Small to medium sized enterprise (SME) or sole trader
  • Charity, trust or similar
  • Director, significant shareholder, partner or board member of such an organisation, even if it is no longer operating
  • Personal guarantor of any such business

Businesses meeting these criteria may qualify to use the BBRS if they also have:

  • An unresolved business banking complaint against one of the participating banks or their subsidiaries
  • Made a formal complaint to their bank from December 2001 onwards, and not had (or been able to have) review by a bank scheme, agreed a settlement, or gone to court
  • At the time of the complaint, had a turnover of:
    • 2001-2009: between £1 million and £6.5 million
    • 2009-2019: between 2 million Euros and £6.5 million
    • 2019 onwards: between £6.5 million and £10 million

More details and full eligibility criteria can be found on our website: