Cornwall Business Forum urges repayment of bank charges

Kevin Oliver
Image caption Kevin Oliver of CBF said a return of bank charges could help some small businesses survive

Cornwall businesses have started a campaign to get banks to reimburse businesses which have paid higher bank charges since 2008.

Cornwall Business Forum (CBF) wants the Financial Ombudsman to order repayment of the increase in charges and interest rates since the banking crisis began.

It said repayment of the difference could help some firms survive.

The Treasury said it had put in place a range of measures with Project Merlin to encourage banks to lend to firms.

It said it had also provided the finance to do so by injecting hundreds of millions of pounds into the economy through quantitative easing.

'Cash injection'

Kevin Oliver from CBF said: "Our campaign is to ask the government to give powers to the ombudsman to order repayment of arrangement fees and interest charged by the banks, brought about by the imposition of negative terms on businesses since the banking crisis in 2008."

Mr Oliver said if a business had paid 2% interest prior to 2008, but this increased to 4% as a result of the banking crisis, the company should be reimbursed the difference.

He said: "Many of those businesses would receive a small cash injection as a result of our proposals and for some of them that would be the difference between survival and becoming another unemployment statistic."

The organisation has produced a video on its website outlining its claims.

Eric Leenders, of the British Bankers' Association, said banks had suffered "the same inflationary pressures as other businesses".

He added: "Those banks have taken a fee for a service that they provide.

"If a customer has a particular issue with a bank that is a matter for them to take up with the bank concerned."

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