Statement on Treasury Select Committee hearing with the FCA - 31 October 2017

The APPG on Fair Business Banking and Finance welcomes the announcement by Andrew Bailey in front of the Treasury Select Committee that a consultation into access to dispute resolution and redress for businesses will be launched.

The APPG has been calling for such a system for two years now, and are in the midst of an Inquiry, with results due to be published in the first quarter of next year. An accessible, independent and transparent process to fillet out genuine claims and settle them fairly is essential to restore confidence in UK banks lending to SMEs – a sector that most believe is the seedbed of UK’s future prosperity.

Norman Lamb MP said: “This consultation is long overdue but welcome. It is vital that small businesses have a fair and independent means of seeking redress. If such a system was established it would have a positive impact on the culture of the banking sector. No longer would banks believe that they could act with impunity, with no consequences. It would provide a deterrent effect which is much needed.”

 

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Happily there is a growing recognition among legislators and regulators that such a change must come. Our focus now must be on ensuring that the system set up is robust, inquisitorial and has the necessary teeth to deal with complex financial disputes.

Lord Cromwell said: “There is a dangerous temptation for politicians to be persuaded to take the easy way out and expand the remit of the FOS. This is a good service but simply not equipped or appropriate to tackle the sort of cases envisaged.”

The APPG will continue to lead the way in this space.

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