The Business Banking Resolution Service has announced the appointment of its independent leadership team, which began work at the beginning of the month.
Lawyer Alexandra Marks has been appointed as the Chief Adjudicator for the new independent service set up to resolve disputes between eligible small and medium sized businesses and participating banks.
Alexandra joins the BBRS from the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) where she has served as Chair since 2018. She also currently sits as a Deputy High Court Judge.
In her new role, Alexandra will make decisions based on what is fair and reasonable for the thousands of businesses who wish to have their cases independently reviewed to resolve disputes with their banks.
Samantha Barrass has been appointed Chief Executive Officer, bringing a wealth of experience, having previously been CEO of the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission as well serving as Executive Director of The Solicitors Regulation Authority in the UK.
Her appointment means that the BBRS has an experienced financial services leader who will be responsible for ensuring it provides an independent, transparent and effective dispute resolution service for eligible businesses with complaints.
The appointments follow the November announcement that businesses wishing to use the BBRS can register their interest online, where they are also asked if they are interested in taking part in a live pilot programme.
The live pilot will review selected disputes in line with the BBRS’s principles and customers will be kept updated on progress. Businesses taking part will receive the first determinations from the BBRS. The live pilot is the final step in preparation for the full launch of the service in early 2020.
Lewis Shand Smith, Interim Chair of the BBRS, said: “I believe that Samantha and Alexandra are the best possible people to bring confidence to eligible businesses with unresolved disputes that the BBRS will hear and treat their complaints both fairly and independently”.
Alexandra Marks described her appointment as an “enormous privilege”, adding: “I look forward to launching the BBRS so that we can begin to offer a fair, transparent and independent service to the thousands of businesses who wish to have their unresolved cases reviewed”.
The BBRS is being established in accordance with a voluntary commitment made by the banking and finance industry in response to the Simon Walker Review on the small business complaints landscape.
An Implementation Steering Group was established in January 2019 to oversee the development of the voluntary service in line with the banking and finance industry’s commitment and agreed terms of reference.
The seven participating banks are; Barclays, CYBG, Danske Bank, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, RBS and Santander.