The FCA has published a discussion paper entitled “Our approach to SMEs as users of financial services”. This paper explores whether the current level of protection afforded to small and medium sized enterprises (“SMEs”) is appropriate. It follows from the FCA’s concerns about the way in which some financial services firms have treated their SME customers.    

The paper requests views on the following:

  • Whether the current rules provide the right balance between the protection of SMEs and encouraging firms to offer services to SMEs
  • Whether access to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) should be extended to a larger number of SMEs
  • Whether the amount of redress FOS can order with respect to SMEs should be increased from its current limit of £150,000

Responses are sought by the 18 March 2016.