Find out more about how we engage with stakeholders with an interest and expertise in the SME sector to share insight, including detail about the role of our SME advisory group.
To support our overall work, we established an SME advisory group, made up of experts who can bring a unique perspective of the SME landscape. Our advisory group includes representatives from small businesses, trade bodies and financial services, providing us with useful insight and support, highlighting the concerns of small businesses and the challenges they face.
This group meets twice each year to provide context of the SME market, as well as flagging concerns held and challenges faced by SMEs in relation to financial services.
- Annette Lovell, Financial Ombudsman Service
- Tim Archer, Financial Ombudsman Service
- David Bainbridge, Financial Ombudsman Service
- Mike Conroy, UK Finance
- John Davies, Association of Alternative Business Finance
- James Dalton, Association of British Insurers
- Hannah Essex, British Chambers of Commerce
- Graeme Fisher, British Business Bank
- Noyona Chundur, Consumer Council for Northern Ireland
- Simon Goldie, Finance and Leasing Association
- Philip King, Small Business Commissioner
- Alexis Lay, Federation of Small Businesses
- Lindsey Loxley, Women in Business Network
- Martin McTague, Federation of Small Businesses
- Claire Walker, British Chambers of Commerce
The group does not consider individual disputes. This work remains the role of our independent ombudsman staff.
Advisory group meeting minutes
Our small business team is supported in their work by a panel of external experts. The panel provides specialist advice on some of the financial products used by small businesses and the financial arrangements of small businesses. Members of the panel act in an advisory role – they don’t make decisions on behalf of our ombudsmen.
Members of our expert panel
Robin is a founding Director of Trade Finance Global (TFG), a leading trade finance platform. Robin has a deep knowledge of the trade financing and structured finance options available to businesses. Alongside Robin’s role at TFG, he is also Chair of the Banking & Finance policy unit at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). Through this position, Robin has supported small business through many financial challenges, and represents their needs to broader stakeholders. Robin also sits on the PSR Panel for the Payment Systems Regulator.
Aubrey is a chartered accountant with 40 years’ experience serving small businesses. He’s an expert in accounts preparation, accounts management and small business tax compliance, with an excellent understanding of the financial accounting obligations for small businesses. He is a trusted adviser to small businesses across their financial needs, supporting businesses in their credit transactions, financial planning, pensions, etc. For 30 years, Aubrey has led his own practice in Northern Ireland, serving clients in all industries.
Adam is Group Chief Risk Officer at Rothschild & Co, holding responsibility for enterprise risk management across all business lines of the organisation. Over more than 20 years and in many different roles, Adam has assisted businesses with their banking needs, with extensive experience of commercial lending products, structured credit, deal finance solutions and corporate real estate.
For the last 17 years, Hugh has represented the insurance industry to Government, regulators and other stakeholders through senior roles at the Association of British Insurers (ABI). For the last 9 years, Hugh has been Director of Regulation, which has included leading the ABI’s response to the challenges of Brexit and more recently the Covid-19 pandemic. Hugh has an extensive understanding of insurance products and the issues facing the insurance industry.
Lisa is Head of Tax for New Look, responsible for the retail group’s global tax affairs. She is an expert in all areas of business taxation, including corporation tax, business rates, national insurance, import tariffs and other duties. Lisa qualified and worked for Big 4 accountancy practices for over 15 years and has an excellent understanding of the tax obligations facing small and medium-sized businesses, and the structuring options available to them. Lisa has recently been chairing New Look’s Brexit-readiness committee, evaluating the impact of leaving the EU to the group.
Join our panel
If you have expertise and senior-level experience which you believe would be helpful to us in our work with small businesses and are interested in joining our expert panel, please send us your CV (select Investigation/SME Expert Panel/Contractor).
Sharing information about our approach
Our work gives us an unique insight into how complaints arise, and how this might be avoided – and so we’re always working to share our insight. As well as our engagement work, we publish details about what we’ve seen. Here are some recent case studies to help demonstrate how we approach complaints covering a range of financial products and services.