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Business Banking Resolution Service (BBRS) Closes

After just a few short years, BBRS has closed its doors, costing the tax payer a great deal of money, and providing adjudication of a very small number of cases. It comes as no surprise to me.

Prior to the BBRS I had taken around twenty cases to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), and generally speaking I had favourable results. The banks still tried to rule cases out if they could, quick to get cases dismissed if they could. The banks would contest the number of staff at the claimant’s company, and also claimed the case should be “timed-out” under statute rules. 

The staff at FOS had no banking experience, but they seemed to sense what was fair, and so the outcomes that I achieved were good, in the main. 

The BBRS was different from the start. I took 2 cases to them during the pilot phase. Both were very strong cases. In one case, which was for a farmer in Scotland, FOS had ruled it out due to the number of employees being 10.4, rather than 10 or fewer. The other case was for a GP practice in Plymouth. 

The cases took well over a year to get an adjudication. During this time I had over 5 different points of contact with each case; all what they called ‘Case Champions’. People kept leaving BBRS, and those that I did have connected to my cases, clearly had no banking experience. When I finally received the outcomes, they were both negative. I challenged both, with additional information, but to no end. It was clear to me throughout the process that no one there, not even the adjudicators had banking experience. 

The GP case would have been upheld by FOS. The GP practice had approached its bank, Lloyds with a problem that it faced, which was that when partners (doctors) left and new ones joined the practice, the practice had to pay-back the one leaving, and take funds from the one joining. However, most young doctors did not have the funds required to pay in as a partner, so the practice faced a problem. The bank’s solution was to give the practice a long-term loan where the borrowers were doctors. However it made it a fixed rate loan which had large penalties if a doctor/borrower left the loan , so the solution was even worse that the one that they left. 

After the adjudications from CEDR, I wrote to the CEO and informed her that she might benefit from my banking experience but they were not interested. I have had cases since those two, which I could have taken to BBRS, but didn’t. I knew the process would take a year or more, and I would not be paid to do so, and I was not confident that cases would get anywhere. I read about Cat McLean’s departure, and knew that if she couldn’t get anywhere, neither could I.

The lack of clarity on the rules as to who could use BBRS and those that couldn’t were opaque. 

One of the defining problems with BBRS is that it didn’t want to pay salaries that would attract employees that had experience, so instead it appeared to hire inexperienced people that had no experience nor motivation. 

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