What is it?
If you are declined lending following a formal application for a business loan you have the right to appeal the decision. Britain’s largest banks have agreed a new set of principles, which set out exactly what you should expect when appealing. These principles will be monitored and scrutinized by an independent and external team of reviewers, ensuring that the banks’ have implemented a fair, prompt and transparent appeals process.
How can I appeal?
Each bank has its own appeals process, so the way in which you launch an appeal will differ depending on your bank. If you are declined lending, your bank will tell you and give you the details of their appeals process. It will not launch automatically following a decision to decline your application so it is up to you to generate an appeal if you feel you have been declined unfairly.
When can I appeal?
An appeal can be made after any formal request for lending has been declined – this means any application that has gone through a credit assessment, after the bank has received all the relevant information from you to make a decision.
If you have not made a formal application, but have simply had an initial conversation where your bank has indicated an application will not be successful, an appeal cannot be launched. However, as part of this discussion the bank will explain to you why you are unlikely to succeed in your application, work with you to reshape the request if possible and give guidance on alternative sources of finance if appropriate.
What are the benefits?
If you are declined lending, Britain’s biggest banks have committed that:
- When an appeal is raised, the decision will be reviewed by a second person from within the bank who was not involved in the original decision
- The banks’ will consider all the information originally provided and ask for more where they think it is necessary
- The result of the appeal will be communicated to you in writing within 30 days
- If lending is still declined after an appeal, the bank will provide information on alternative sources of finance that may be more appropriate or provide support in another form, such as putting the you in touch with a business mentor
How do we know the appeals process works?
An external Independent Reviewer, Professor Russel Griggs has been appointed to monitor and scrutinise the appeals process. He will produce an annual report on the overall effectiveness of the banks’ appeals process and will be supported by an independent Operational Review Team from the consultancy, Promontory. Promontory will conduct on‐site and off‐site monitoring of the banks’ appeal process throughout the year, as determined by Professor Griggs and work with him in preparing the report which will be made available to the public through the Better Business Finance website.
Where can I found out more?
To find out information on your banks’ appeals process you should contact them directly. If you are declined lending, your bank will supply you with details of their appeals process.
The principles agreed to by the five banks involved in the Better Business Finance campaign are available on the websites of the BBA, Better Business Finance and individual banks.
Download the factsheet in PDF format - here.