FORMER Institute of Directors boss Simon Walker (pictured) has been named as independent chair of the finance and banking industry’s review into how small business complaints against lenders are resolved.
Commissioned by trade body UK Finance, the independent review will attempt to identify solutions that would result in fair outcomes for both small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and financial services providers.
Walker will have independent leadership over the review, which will form the basis of recommendations for the industry and government.
Walker was director-general of the Institute of Directors, which represents thousands of businesses, for five years until 2016. He has previously been communications secretary to Queen Elizabeth II and an adviser to former prime minister John Major.
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“SMEs are an important driver of growth and how the sector interacts with financial providers is crucial in helping support the UK economy,” said Walker.
“This review is an important step in understanding the best route to SME complaints redress with all options up for consideration. I am determined that this will be a thorough review with no stone left unturned, using a combination of academic research, stakeholder evidence and international comparisons to identify best practice.”
The way that high street banks handle SME complaints has come under the spotlight after it emerged that thousands of small businesses were mistreated by RBS and became victims of fraud at the Reading branch of Lloyds.