The UK does not have an “adequate” complaint resolution mechanism for SMEs dealing with banks said Andrew Bailey, the chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

In an interview with the Yorkshire Post, Bailey said the FCA was aware of the issues facing the UK’s SMEs.

“One of the things I am very involved in at the moment with Parliament is the question of having an adequate complaint resolution mechanism for small firms," he said.

"Many of the activities that have caused the most difficulty in recent times are actually outside the formal regulatory scope of the FCA. But they are still undertaken by firms whose conduct we regulate, in a broad sense, so they are of relevance to us.”

Parliamentary discussions

Bailey told the Yorkshire Post that he had been involved with discussions in Parliament about an adequate complaint resolution mechanism for small firms, as the Ombudsman service was designed for individuals.

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By GlobalData

He described a prospective SME complaints resolution against banks as a “missing piece… in the [regulatory] landscape”, and that attempts to fix this by other means with other types of schemes had been seen as ineffective by small firms. Bailey said legal redress against banks was seen as too expensive by SMEs.

“I am very keen, and a number of MPs have now taken this up, and the government have said they will look at it,” Bailey said.  “I think it’s very important that we have, for small firms in this country, an adequate dispute resolution mechanism.”