Helping customers who may be ineligible
20 April 2021
Sally Berlin, Deputy Chief Adjudicator
In the first blog we posted after our launch we committed to being as quick as possible in our turnaround times and decision-making. As part of our work to deliver on this promise we have begun to contact customers who appear to fall far outside of our eligibility criteria. This work will run in parallel to the release of our provisional case determinations and eligibility assessments, as well as our ongoing casework.
We are keen to take action to support these customers, who likely registered before our eligibility criteria were finalised. We hope that by having a conversation with these customers as early as possible, they will be able to refocus their efforts and find another way forward in resolving their complaint. We are conscious that time limits might apply to other forms of resolution, and want to assist customers in exploring their options.
The BBRS takes the approach that all cases are assumed to be eligible unless found to be otherwise. We will therefore only be contacting a small number of customers where there is a very clear reason that suggests ineligibility. This might include, for example, complaints relating to a bank which is not participating in the BBRS, or which relates to a Bounce Bank Loan (as these are expressly excluded by our Rules).
The decision on how to proceed lies entirely with the customer, and anyone contacted will be given the option of waiting for a more detailed and formal assessment. However, we are taking this step of contacting them early so they can decide whether it is worth continuing to wait.
In addition to the benefit for customers, this process makes effective use of the BBRS’ finite resources, and we hope will allow us to help more customers in a shorter period of time.
The BBRS is a learning organisation and so we will be capturing information about these cases, regardless of the customers’ decision on whether to proceed with a different route or wait for a full assessment of their eligibility. It will also assist us in establishing any potential need for the expansion of our service, such as a large number of cases relating to a specific bank that is not currently a member of the service.