TTF Press Release 19th August 2021

Press Release from the Transparency Task Force

TTF’s Head of Strategy and Public Affairs appointed onto the BBRS’s SME Liaison Panel

Transparency Task Force is pleased to announce that its Head of Strategy and Public Affairs, Mark Bishop, has been appointed as a member of the SME Liaison Panel of the Business Banking Resolution Service (‘BBRS’), the non-profit organisation established to resolve certain disputes between small- and medium-sized firms and banks.

Bishop says:

‘I recognise that prospective claimants overwhelmingly consider the BBRS unfit for purpose, citing concerns such as eligibility, cap on awards, transparency and corporate governance. My aim in accepting this role is not to defend the organisation but rather to act as a conduit through which the case can be made to the BBRS board for reform. Should that prove unachievable, I will quit the Panel and back SMEs making the case to politicians for the introduction of an alternative solution, such as tribunals. 

‘To my mind though, it is right that we should do all we can to try to fix the BBRS instead of immediately campaigning to kill it, because successfully lobbying for another redress option and getting it up and running could take years, and justice for the victims is already long overdue.

‘I’m conscious of the risk of being perceived as a “useful idiot” for the banks, paid lavishly to give the appearance of SME representation but reluctant to challenge them for fear of losing a sinecure. This would be grossly unfair. Not only is the remuneration for Panel membership derisory, especially relative to the vast sums extracted by management and advisers, but until we reach the point where there is widespread support for the BBRS among SME stakeholders, I have undertaken to donate my fees to Transparency Task Force.’

Andy Agathangelou, Founder of Transparency Task Force, says:

‘We all have very many good reasons to be extremely disappointed with how BBRS has turned out so far. I haven’t yet had one conversation with a Transparency Task Force member who has had anything good to say about BBRS. Mark, myself and many TTF members know there is a great deal wrong with it that needs fixing; and it may already be beyond repair. Having Mark involved in BBRS provides an opportunity to influence what happens there, so that’s a good thing because having somebody with Mark’s proven capability, integrity and authenticity “at the table” means at least we have a chance to speak up properly for the thousands of people that have been impacted so egregiously by the banks. We should support Mark as best as we can, and help him to help those that have been harmed.’