The Chancellor of the Exchequer Meets with Kevin Hollinrake MP

This week, the Co-Chair of the APPG on Fair Business Banking, Kevin Hollinrake MP, met with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, The Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, to discuss in greater depth the proposals in our report, Fair Business Banking for All. The Chancellor confirmed that he is looking carefully at our detailed proposals to provide a more accessible dispute resolution mechanism for small businesses with an independent Financial Services Tribunal.

Kevin Hollinrake MP said: “I am extremely pleased that the Chancellor is engaging closely with the proposals advocated by the APPG, particularly the establishment of a Financial Services Tribunal. It is clear he understands the challenges faced by small businesses when seeking redress in disputes with financial service providers and is willing to listen to our solutions. From this positive meeting, we hope to build on further support from the Government”.

He continued: “The coming months will be crucial. Not only is the Autumn budget statement on the horizon, but we are at the stage where the APPG will be able to transform our proposals into workable reality. With correct implementation, our suggestions will strengthen the confidence of small businesses and level the injurious imbalance of power they experience in disputes with their financial service providers”.

The APPG will continue its close engagement with the necessary stakeholders to ensure that a Tribunal system can be delivered. We will closely engage with the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen MP, to make the proposals outlined in our report actionable. Furthermore, we are currently working with key figures in the legal industry to establish exactly how we can quickly and efficiently take the proposals outlined in the report and put them into reality by establishing a functional and effective Tribunal that offers accessible redress for small business customers.

We are still, however, awaiting the findings of other crucial pieces of work on dispute resolution for small businesses due to be released very soon, including UK Finance’s review of alternative dispute resolution. We have made it clear to the Chancellor that our proposals are not set in competition with the findings of any other report but instead must be a key backstop as part of a wider and strengthened system of dispute resolution for businesses in the UK.

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