Professor Christopher Hodges has provided a Report on dispute resolution and feedback of data for regulatory purposes as part of the Report by Simon Walker CBE into new routes for SMEs to challenge banks. The Review was commissioned by the banking association UK Finance, and published on 23 October 2018 [http://www.ukfinance.org.uk/review-into-the-complaints-and-alternative-dispute-resolution-adr-landscape-for-the-uks-sme-market/].

On the same day, Mr Walker and Professor Hodges gave evidence to the House of Commons Treasury Committee.

The Review recommended that

  • A new Financial Ombudsman function should resolve SME-bank disputes, assisted by a new expert advisory body on legal and banking issues; this should build on and extend proposals just released by the Financial Conduct Authority for extending the jurisdiction of the Financial Ombudsman Service, by expanding a similar voluntary scheme for larger SMEs.

  • Data on issues identified should be fed back to the FCA, banks and SMEs, as part of a regulatory function that improves the practice of both banks and SMEs.

  • A formal process should seek to achieve reconciliation and closure of historical issues.