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Over 6,000 charities could qualify for help under bank dispute scheme

10 Nov 2021 News

More than 6,000 charities could be eligible to recover money under a free scheme to help organisations resolve disputes with banks.

The Banking Business Resolution Service (BBRS), which was established to help small and medium-sized businesses embroiled in financial disputes, says charities and social enterprises have already applied to the scheme for help. 

The BBRS renewed its invitation to the charity sector to participate in the scheme earlier this month.

Eligible charities and trusts must have a turnover of over £1m and have an unresolved complaint with a participating bank over the last 20 years. Charities can be eligible for support even if they are no longer operating. The scheme is free to use.

Financial awards

The BBRS was set up in 2018 in response to commitments by the banking and finance industry to resolve business banking complaints that fell outside of existing regulations.

When the BBRS investigates and upholds a dispute, it can make financial awards against banks of up to £600,000 in ongoing complaints and £350,000 in older cases. It can recommend higher payments if required.

Deadline for historical complaints 

The banks participating in the scheme are: Barclays; Danske Bank; HSBC UK; Lloyds Banking Group (including Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland); NatWest Group; Santander UK plc; and Virgin Money (including Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank).

The process is overseen by an independent high court judge.

The deadline for raising historical complaints with the BBRS is February 2023. These are complaints first registered between December 2001 and March 2019.

Dirk Paterson, customer director at BBRS, said: “We want as many charities and social enterprises as possible – and directors of those no longer operating – to have the opportunity to use the BBRS service. 

“We urge them to see if they qualify for our help and, if so, to register. If unsure, businesses can check online or contact us to discuss their situation.”

Charities can check their eligibility using the BBRS website.

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