The FSB has called for the full and swift implementation of the recommendations laid out in the Griggs Review of Access to Banking.
The Review looked at the impact of bank branch closures on individuals, communities and businesses, and concluded that banks must do more to meet the needs of their customers and to provide better transition arrangements. Now, the FSB has called on all major banks “To set a date to implement the Griggs reforms quickly and in full.”
The Federation’s executive chairman Mike Cherry said, “The Griggs review shows beyond doubt that urgent action is required to tackle the plight of small businesses being affected by local bank branch closures. We are pleased that Professor Russel Griggs has taken on board a number of the recommendations set out in FSB’s recent ‘Locked Out: The impact of bank branch closures on small businesses’ report.
“Our research uncovered the detrimental impact branch closures are having on many small firms across the nations and regions of the UK. A clearly stated aim of the Protocol is to rebuild trust and confidence in the banking sector. That’s why FSB launched the #LoveYourBranch campaign – because we believe banks have a duty to support all small business customers who are currently reliant on branches to access banking services.
‘Banks must do more’
“FSB has called for a number of improvements to the Protocol, including better communication to customers affected when branch closures happen and for more detailed information on the effect of those closures to be included within banks’ impact assessments. It is encouraging to see the Review’s recommendations directly seek to address these issues. Griggs echoed FSB calls for banks to do more with local Post Office branches to make sure they offer the right services for small business customers, before signposting customers to such alternatives.
“Griggs’s call for banks to develop generic cash pick up services for businesses is an important innovation that will only work if the scheme is free or affordable for the smallest firms, especially in rural areas. Banks must not hike charges on those small firms with the lowest turnovers who have nowhere else to go. The onus is now on every bank to agree a date to implement the recommendations of this review quickly and effectively.”