Jan. 14--ENTREPRENEURS who claim they have been abused by their banks will descend on Westminster this week to press the case for a new independent system to resolve disputes.
Hopes are rising for a breakthrough in the battle for a tribunal or properly resourced Ombudsman for small firms. Several bank bosses support the initiative and sources believe the Treasury may now be ready to act on the issue. MPs are to debate how banks have treated business customers on Thursday.
They will discuss RBS's controversial global restructuring group and are expected to cover the behaviour of others such as HBOS's Reading branch, where crooked bankers and advisers cheated firms. The debate will be led by MPs from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fair Business Banking (APPG) which has led the campaign alongside The Mail on Sunday. Currently, only the tiniest businesses can bring complaints against their banks through the Financial Ombudsman Service. Bigger businesses can go through the courts, but the cost is prohibitive for anything but the largest claims.
Treasury select committee chairman Nicky Morgan and Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable intend to take part in the debate, The Mail on Sunday understands. TV star Noel Edmonds, who alleges his Unique Group was brought down by crooked bankers at HBOS's Reading branch, is also planning to attend.
Lord Cromwell, chair of the APPG, said: 'After many years of frustration, businesses finally seem to have traction in their quest for an appropriate means for dispute resolution with lending bodies. Creating an independent tribunal would be transformational.'
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