This afternoon, I lead a debate in the House of Commons on the ill treatment of small and medium-sized enterprises by the Royal Bank of Scotland and on a systemic failure to effectively protect businesses from malpractice in financial services.
In my introduction to the debate, I talked about the experiences of one of my Norwich South constituents, Andrew Gibbs. He lost his business, his home and his marriage when was forced by his bank to buy a product that should have protected his business against rising interest rates but instead drained it of cash.
You can watch my closing remarks HERE.
Andrew told me:
“The actions of the Royal Bank of Scotland took away people’s livelihoods and destroyed lives and eight or years down the line victims like me are still being pushed from pillar to post. So I’m delighted that bully banks and a system which fails to reign them in is being held to account by Clive in Parliament. I’m hoping that this time, at last, they won’t be able to evade the consequences of their actions and that so many who have suffered can see some hope of beginning to rebuild their lives.”
In my role as co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Fair Banking, I called for an inquiry that cuts across government department lines and asked for a public tribunal system.
There is no independent and affordable place for a business to go if they are in dispute with their lender. Justice, to them, is out of reach. It's time that the Government, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Parliament step up to the plate to ensure that businesses get fair treatment and access to affordable justice. Our businesses deserve nothing less.