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UK Bank Industry Trade Group Launches Review Of SMB Mistreatment

UK Finance, an industry trade association, is launching an independent investigation into the way the market’s banks treat small businesses (SMBs), according to Reuters reports on Thursday (March 29).

The group appointed Simon Walker to lead the review, which will specifically look at the way banks handle complaints filed by small business borrowers. Reports said Walker and his team will probe how banks handle disputes with SMBs that are too small to go to court but remain unresolved.

“All banks have robust complaint arrangements which attempt to put things right quickly, apologize and, if appropriate, offer some compensation for costs incurred and payment in recognition of distress and inconvenience,” said UK Finance in a statement. “However, in some cases, complaints go unresolved to the satisfaction of the customer or cannot be dealt with by this internal procedure.”

Reports said the group aims to develop alternative solutions to dispute resolution and to address the needs of both banks and small businesses when mitigating.

The launch of the review comes as several high-profile scandals involving small business banking continue to play out. One of the largest is RBS, which regulators found to have mistreated small business customers by forcing some into bankruptcy via its Global Restructuring Unit.

The U.K. Treasury Select Committee published its full report on the RBS case, with the committee’s Chair Nicky Morgan telling Reuters last month that RBS’ actions uncovered by the probe “are disgraceful.”

U.K. officials are also working to address the ongoing issue of late payments to small businesses. Earlier this month, U.K. Chancellor Philip Hammond received recommendations by the Federation of Small Businesses to address the problem. The FSB’s own research found 84 percent of small businesses in the U.K. have been paid late, leading to regulatory action and an effort to boost SMBs’ access to financing in order to cope with cash flow stressors.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: HOW WE SHOP – SEPTEMBER 2020 

The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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