Charities invited to apply for free dispute resolution service amid rise in banking disputes

A free dispute resolution service is calling on charities to check if they are eligible to recover funds in unresolved banking disputes.

The Business Banking Resolution Service (BBRS) said thousands of not-for-profit organisations could be owed money, even if they are no longer operating.

The BBRS was launched in 2018 to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to settle unresolved complaints with the seven biggest banks (Barclays, Danske Bank, HSBC UK, Lloyds Banking Group, NatWest Group, Santander UK plc, and Virgin Money) through alternative dispute resolution.

It was hoped that the service would give growing businesses the confidence to apply for finance, such as loans and overdrafts, in the knowledge that if something were to go wrong, they would be protected.

But the service is also available to charities.

To apply, charities and trusts must have a turnover of £1 million or more and have an unresolved dispute with a participating bank within the last 20 years.

The free scheme – which can be used even if the charity has since been dissolved – can make financial awards of up to £600,000 in ongoing complaints and £350,000 in closed cases.

Commenting on the scheme, 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.”

The deadline for raising historical complaints with the BBRS is February 2023. Charities can check their eligibility here.

For help and advice with related matters, please get in touch with our charity finance team today.

Posted in Blog, Charities, Charities.