1. What is the appeals process all about?
The appeals process is part of a commitment from the UK’s 5 largest banks to support small businesses through the Business Finance Taskforce, an initiative setup between these banks and the government and facilitated by the British Bankers Association (BBA). It has been introduced so that business customers can be confident that in the event of their application for finance being turned down, they can request that another experienced lender at the bank formally reviews the application.
In addition, an independent reviewer has been appointed by the BBA to ensure that each bank is correctly following the process and that applications for business credit are always considered fairly and appropriately.
2. On what grounds can I appeal?
An appeal can be made after your Barclays Business Manager informs you of the decision to decline your application. Your appeal must be submitted in writing within 30 days of this and should outline your reason for appeal, along with any additional information that may support your case. Requesting an appeal does not guarantee that a decline decision will be overturned, but we guarantee that it will be reviewed by people who were not connected to the original decision, and that the process will be handled fairly and objectively.
3. What products can I appeal a decision about?
Any business borrowing facility – e.g., loans, overdrafts, commercial mortgages, cashflow finance and trade finance.
4. How do I know that the appeals process works?
Barclays is committed to having a fair and transparent appeals process. We are monitored by an independent reviewer, appointed by the British Bankers Association (BBA), who validates the process that we have in place. Their findings are published via the BBA to the press and the public.
5. If, following an initial discussion about a lending application, my Barclays Business Manager suggests that my application will not succeed, would I have the right to appeal?
Yes, you can appeal. As part of your discussion with your Barclays Business Manager, they will have explained the reasons why your application cannot be progressed, providing any supporting factors or criteria. We will provide guidance on how a lending application can be progressed and any available alternative sources of finance.
6. If I appeal and am still refused a lending application, how can you help me?
If we are still unable to agree your request following an appeal, we will inform you about alternative sources of finance. There are other specific initiatives under the Business Finance Taskforce, facilitated by the British Bankers Association, that provide information about, and access to, alternative sources of finance for small and medium-sized businesses.
If you wish, you may also take matters further by making a complaint, however the appeals process is designed to provide a second review and independent assessment of your application.
7. If a lending application is accepted but I don’t agree with the price or the terms offered, can I appeal?
If your application has been successful but you do not agree with the conditions of the offer, please discuss this with your Barclays Business Manager, who will initiate an appeal for you. However, the costs of borrowing, agreed fees and the standard terms we apply to the lending facility are excluded.
8. Are there circumstances where I am not able to appeal?
There will be circumstances when we are occasionally unable to lend, for example, lending that may result in a breach of UK law and regulations, is linked to cross-border transactions in countries subject to UN sanctions or where a product may be used to evade tax.
9. How do I know the appeal reviewer or second person is better qualified than the person who made the original decision?
The second reviewer will be an experienced underwriter, charged with making a fresh and independent assessment of your application. The process they will follow will be subject to an audit by the independent reviewer, appointed by the BBA, to ensure fairness.
10. Who is the independent reviewer?
The independent reviewer is an organisation that is tasked with regularly appraising the appeals processes of each of the banks in the Business Finance Taskforce, to ensure that they comply with the agreed commitments. It is independent of both Barclays and the British Bankers Association (BBA), and its findings and the statistics it gathers are published via the BBA to the press and the public.
11. On what basis is an independent reviewer chosen?
An independent reviewer is selected by committee by HM Treasury, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and the Business Finance Taskforce.
12. Why can't I just appeal to the independent reviewer like I can with the Financial Ombudsman?
The role of the independent reviewer is to verify that we have fair and effective appeals processes, which are then audited to ensure they comply with our commitments. It is not in a position to review individual lending decisions or accept appeals directly from customers.
13. What is the difference between an appeal and a complaint?
The appeals process is one of our commitments as part of the Business Finance Taskforce, to ensure that small and medium-sized businesses are confident that, should a finance application be declined, they have the right to have their cases reviewed by an underwriter who was unconnected to the original decision.
If you are dissatisfied with the way in which we have handled their application or their accounts, you have the right to raise a formal complaint.
14. How quickly do you have to tell me the result of the appeal?
Our commitment is that an appeal will be reviewed and you will be informed of the outcome within 30 days. Our aim is to reduce this turnaround time wherever possible, and for your Barclays Business Manager to keep you informed of the progress at each step
15. If my appeal was unsuccessful what can I do?
Your Barclays Business Manager will inform you about other sources of finance and support that you may wish to pursue.
If your appeal is unsuccessful, you can’t appeal about that decision again. However, if you are still dissatisfied with our decision, you have the right to raise a formal complaint.
16. Where can I find further information?
Further information on the appeals process and the work of the Business Finance Taskforce can be found here at the Better Business Finance online portal, created by the British Bankers’ Association.