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08 October 2011

You can appeal when your bank turns you down.


Forty per cent of small businesses that have appealed against bank decisions on loans and overdrafts have won their case, according to the head of the new appeals process.


The figure was revealed by Russel Griggs to the Financial Times in his first interview since he was appointed by the Business Finance Taskforce, as part of the Better Business Finance campaign, to lead the independent external review of lending appeals.


The BBT was set up after Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS, Santander and Standard Chartered decided they should look at how to improve business funding to aid economic recovery.


About one-third of the 800 appeals that have been ruled upon since the process was set up in April have ended up with the original refusal to lend by the bank being overturned. The success rate rises to 40 per cent for those at the volume end of the market – making requests for overdraft facilities, credit cards and smaller loans.


He will report on how the appeals process is working next April. But his early conclusion is that it is producing results – not just in helping companies access finance, but in getting banks to improve their processes. “I think it shows that appealing is worthwhile,” he said.


Banks have been criticised by the government and business bodies for failing to meet their targets under Project Merlin to lend to small and medium sized enterprises.

Earlier this year, the Forum of Private Business championed the case of Frank Brammer, 88, the managing director of a Gloucester-based precision engineering company, after a bank refused to lend him £160,000 – the first time in his life he had ever been turned down for credit. “It riled me that someone with a pen and pencil could claim to know our business when they cannot even run their own,” he said



Source: Jonathan Moules FT 08.10.2011


*Article for guidance only. Professional advice should be obtained to ensure that all circumstances are assessed in providing a complete answer.