So the dispute resolution process in the banking sector over RBS's mistreatment of small businesses has taken too long and cost too much money. That is, perhaps, nothing new and the proposal to conduct a review must be welcomed.
My advice to the people carrying out the independent study is to look at the tsunami that hit the Construction sector at the end of the 1990s. Why not try adjudication? It's fast (28/42 days) and far less expensive with no nasty costs orders. And the courts enforce the decisions quickly. It works.
Yes, the introduction of adjudication into 'construction contracts' was controversial and hotly debated, with some eminent practitioners penning a series of essays condemning the idea. The title of the collection was, "Reform: A Plea for Sanity" and you can probably find signed copies these days on Ebay. I have one in my garage somewhere.
But prior to its introduction dispute resolution in the construction sector was summed up by another eminent practitioner as being akin to "death by lever-arch file". The process took far too long (literally years) and cost far too much. To many it was a 'rich man's' luxury. The process worked for the few, not the many (to misquote a current political mantra).
The 1st of May 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the industry's adoption of adjudication. It is not perfect and it has its detractors. However, I challenge anyone to argue rationally that adjudication has failed the industry and we should return to the 'good old days'. In any case, death by "lever-arch file" is still available to disputing parties although the many court reforms that have been introduced make the litigation process a bit more like "death by ring-binder".
In conclusion, I do hope this independent review body will make contact with the Construction sector to find out how adjudication can help the banking sector.
City firms have launched a review into dispute resolution for companies wronged by banks, in the wake of the scandal over RBS’s mistreatment of small businesses. UK Finance, the lobby group for 300 British finance companies, has commissioned an independent study to analyse how complaints and disputes can be resolved in a more time and cost effective manner.