29th October 2021
SME Alliance Withdrawal of Support for the BBRS
In its second quarterly insight report published 29th October 2021, the BBRS have made the following statement:
“…The Eligibility Conditions in the Scheme Rules were unanimously approved in February 2021 by the Implementation Steering Group (ISG) comprising seven bank representatives, eight representatives of SMEs and an independent Chair…."
The SME Alliance representative on the Independent Steering Group (ISG) was persuaded to support the BBRS eligibility rules in their current form on the express understanding that these rules would allow the BBRS to process a large number of cases involving both SMEA members and others. It is now clear that the eligibility rules do not achieve this objective and that they have in fact excluded most if not all of those seeking redress via the scheme.
The SMEA representative on the ISG was not made aware that the Articles of Association for the BBRS were amended on the 12th February 2021 in order to prevent the BBRS amending the rules of its scheme without the approval of an unnamed representative of the banks.
Whilst the SMEA remains entirely supportive of the original concept of the BBRS, it can no longer support the scheme under its present terms which will not resolve the issues between SMEs and lenders or restore trust in our banking system.