The former director general of the Institute of Directors has been tasked with chairing the finance industry’s review into how complaints and dispute procedures are handled for the UK’s small businesses.
Simon Walker will lead the review which has commissioned by trade body UK Finance to assess the scale and complexity of banking complaints from small and medium firms.
UK Finance said it will focus particularly on disputes between financial services providers, excluding insurance products, and small business customers that remain unresolved through the normal customer complaint procedure and may be unsuitable for court processes.
Speaking about his appointment Walker said: SMEs are an important driver of growth and how the sector interacts with financial providers is crucial in helping support the UK economy.
This review is an important step in understanding the best route to SME complaints redress with all options up for consideration.
I am determined that this will be a thorough review with no stone left unturned, using a combination of academic research, stakeholder evidence and international comparisons to identify best practice.
UK Finance said all banks have “robust complaint arrangements” which attempt to put things right quickly, but in some cases complaints go unresolved or cannot be dealt with by the internal procedure.
A critical part of the review will be to work out solutions that would be able to produce fair outcomes for both the small firms and the providers in question.
Teresa Graham, chair of UK Finance SME Advisory Group said that any review of SME market complaints needed to be “rigorous, impartial and objective”, and the selection of the chair was critical in doing so.
Walker was “a unanimous choice for the selection panel”, she added.