Which?, the Consumer Council Northern Ireland, Citizens Advice and The Federation of Small Businesses can flag concerns to the regulator if they believe there are features of a financial services market that could be “significantly” damaging the interests of consumers.
Sajid Javid, financial secretary to the Treasury, said: “The government is determined to create a financial services sector that serves the needs of customers rather than the other way round.
“It is vital that consumers, including small and medium-sized businesses, have a stronger voice to raise issues when they feel specific markets are not working as they should.”
John Allan, national chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “We are delighted to take on this important responsibility.
“With ongoing issues in the financial services sector, such as the mis-selling of complex financial agreements to small firms and the allegations reported in the Tomlinson report, it is vital the smallest businesses have a route to complain where they feel they have been treated unfairly.”
Despite banks’ trying to reverse the negative opinion formed of them after the financial crisis in 2008 Allan said FSB research has shown many members still think banks are “only out to serve their own interests”.
He added: “We hope by having a clear route to voice their concerns not only will they get a means to get redress but also that trust in the banking sector, so vital for growth, will begin to improve.”