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Established in 1992



Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) & Small Firms Loan Guarantee Scheme (SFLGS) & bank debt claims on Director's Personal Guarantees on EFG & SFLGS Loans.


Banks provided clear procedures for their employees when they 'sold' the business bank customers Enterprise Finance Guarantee Loans (EFG) or Small Firms Loan Guarantee Schemes (SFLGS) and in 'setting up' Director's personal guarantees for company borrowings.

Those procedures were intended to make sure that Directors, small business customers and individuals providing personal guarantees were properly informed - they could then make informed decisions before entering into any banking or lending agreements.

As an organisation IBAS has a very long history of assisting Company Directors, Limited Companies, Businesses and individuals who have provided personal guarantees to banks but have not received fair treatment from their banks. IBAS has investigated many EFG & SFLGS complaints where banks have claimed and made demands on a director's personal guarantee for their company debt/s.

Our experience has shown that bank employees have not always follow the correct procedures to obtain director's bank personal guarantee signatures and put the customer at risk from not doing so. IBAS expertise in dealing with banks and specifically banking agreements, directors personal guarantees banking debt claims and limited company business bank debt dispute issues and complaints, means we offer very experienced advice and specialist guidance on the merits of banking complaints and provide additional options to pursue those complaints.

IBAS provide advice, help, guidance and assistance to Directors with EFG or small firms loan guarantee (SFLGS) debt claim demands and director's bank personal guarantee debt claims.


IBAS website was launched in 1998 to help UK businesses with banking disputes.


(see BBC publication with link to IBAS in 1999) at: Your Money Not a moving account  - BBC 22/07/99


IBAS has featured on BBC TV, BBC TV News, ITV News, Meridian TV and Sky TV News since 1992 and also contributed banking editorials and business banking articles for the Sunday Times, Times, Daily Mail, Daily Express, Telegraph and Daily Mirror.


Bank threat to ‘pull the rug’ on you and your business?

Bank seeking even more of your assets and security?

Bank threatening to remove all lending unless you do as you’re told?

Are you getting things done or just agonising over what cannot be done?

All can be equally debilitating for you.


They can also be the 'forerunner' to a business disaster.

A business disaster will inevitably impact on you and your family personally.

Your personal assets may then be 'taken' from you.


If you do nothing or provide the bank with a signed income/assets form - the bank will take everything they can get

– which is not a sensible business option.


You only need to read IBAS testimonials to see how IBAS has helped many businesses like yours over the last 27 years.

So, act and email IBAS now - share your bank problem/s or business banking dispute with IBAS.


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We know what we can do for you and your business and will be pleased to respond by email to you.

For a solution, you need to make a decision to get IBAS fully on your side by providing us with a comprehensive outline of your ‘dispute’ by email with correspondences, facility letters and demand letters which 'show' your position.


email IBAS




IBAS is the only UK non profit organization which provides business banking customers with specialist business banking assistance, advice and specialist business banking guidance with IBAS specialist business banking investigations.

IBAS assistance and advice will help directors prepare cases up to litigation, where there is a claim on a director's bank personal guarantee and also where the bank's claim on the director, partner or sole proprietor includes a bank mortgage over the family home from the debt claim on their Limited Company.

Personal Guarantees on Bank Business Debts or business banking debts or disputes for Limited Companies debt allow the bank to claim a debt is owed personally by the director or personal guarantor if the business fails or the Limited company cannot pay the debts claimed on the bank's debt demand.

It is not enough for a personal guarantor to resign as a director from the company and even if a company director resigns that may not protect them from a bank claim on their director's personal guarantee for debts owed by the business whilst they were directors or partners.

If you need to have a release/discharge/end/finalize or 'determine' a personal guarantee you will require specific advice to make sure the Personal Guarantee is no longer 'relied upon' by the bank.


Often, Lenders appear less concerned with the quality of the information they provide to the company once they’ve provided the lending decision and also sealed their debenture in place. IBAS believes internal problems have created Lender’s maladministration of EFG & SFLGS accounts and the knock on effect may end in the business failure.

When a company is placed in this position it has great difficulty in operating - having expended considerable time and usually all their own spare funds in reaching that stage. Companies borrowing by way of an EFG are particularly vulnerable to lender 'inertia' and some Lenders are much less reliable than others.

IBAS has found that in EFG and SFLG cases, it is the Lender’s control over the Company assets which restricts and often completely eliminates any new ideas for funding or indeed any other form of alternative funding. This remains the case even though the Lender has reached a point where they are no longer prepared to provide any further support to your Company or in some instances deny any ongoing support.

The nature of the EFG & SFLG is that the scheme is designed to provide financial backing with some financial support to those who do not have the necessary assets to borrow ‘against’ but do have a workable or worthwhile business plan (or project). The Lender support their understanding of the Business Plan by their confirmation of the application, which itself is supported by the DTI in a Guarantee for the Lender.

The Lender’s desire to lend is assessed against the Business Plan and strength of management. Personal assets and/or personal security are not intended to be a major consideration. The strength of the Business Plan at the beginning of this process is therefore the most important consideration and the Business Plan itself must be carefully considered by the Lender in detail.

Once the Lender has investigated the financial strengths of the Business Plan and the decision to lend has been made - that commitment carries with it a considerable duty to provide professional care in the handling of that account - as from that time onwards the Lender by holding a full debenture over the Company will inevitably control the Company assets and indeed the Company’s financial strategy in any future or further borrowing requirements.

IBAS have seen cases where Lenders deliberately delay in providing crucial information.

This prevents a Company making essential financial decisions and any Lender would be aware from previous experience that such a Company would be largely unsuccessful in gaining another lenders support to ‘pick-up’ an SFLGS (or EFG) after that stage.

When an EFG or SFLG fails there may be a small loss to the Lender (as seen in the Graham Review on SFLG's - initially the major loss will be to the DTI (from the Guarantee which the Government through the DTI provided to the Lender).

However, a much greater loss may be felt by those individuals borrowing on an EFG or SFLGS which then fails. If they are company directors of the failed company and the lender has Personal Guarantees for the Limited Company borrowings they will be at personal risk. The Lender will chase for payment on behalf of the DTI (from the EFG or SFLGS Guarantee itself) regardless of the fact that the Lender will have been paid and regardless of any 'failings' in the bank procedure at the time of 'sale'.

Where Director's Personal Guarantees have also been taken by a Lender for a SFLGS or EFG, which then failed that Personal Guarantee provides the Lender with a further opportunity for a ‘double’ claim.  The lender has the discretion, within the terms of any agreements on security, to apply the proceeds from any business assets to reduce the guaranteed business loan or overdraft. If proceeds are insufficient to cover the guaranteed loan and other debts including overdrafts, then any personal assets or guarantees pledged against non-Scheme lending would be used to reduce the other debts.

If the borrower has business assets, such as stock or premises, that have been taken as security against the loan, the lender will use those to reduce the outstanding debt. This will enable the lender to reduce its claim on the DTI's guarantee for an EFG or SFLGS loan or to reimburse the DTI if the bank's guarantee claim on the DTI has already paid a claim.

IBAS 'case work' since 1992 has provided us with valuable experience including how bank debt recovery teams operate. IBAS has extremely specialist knowledge, gathered from IBAS investigations of business banking account disputes over time and all IBAS knowledge and experience is used on your 'case' - no other 'non profit' organization has either our experience or IBAS knowledge.

Bank debt recovery officers are very well trained on how to control telephone conversations with customers.The legal knowledge within the debt recovery unit provides banks with a distinct legal and psychological advantage when a customer is attempting to 'negotiate' using the telephone.

It is not an ordinary conversation. The customer is immediately placed at a disadvantage and under pressure as the bank's debt recovery officer takes control of the conversation to obtain what they want - which is primarily information to use against you. They are not employed to 'advise' the bank customer - they are employed by the bank specifically to protect the bank and obtain payment from the customer.

The Bank's business customers have little knowledge of the bank's debt recovery strategy or how it operates but Bank debt recovery units are very skilled in defending the bank's position and trained to use their legal position and knowledge to prevent defences from arising at a very early stage in the bank's claim. That is why the banks seek your asset/income information as a first priority and immediately the bank has that information the customer is under increased pressure for payment regardless of any disputes or complaints which you may have previously raised.

We know that communicating with someone who fully understands what you are going through is your first step to getting a good night's sleep. Communicating with someone who has dealt with a great many cases like yours is even better - so don't waste time putting off dealing with it - act now - email IBAS from the link below and tell us about your demand.


The Enterprise Finance Guarantee Loan Scheme (SFLGS & EFG’s)


'I remain concerned about the high rate of failures evidenced from SFLGS over the years and aware that the 'encouragement' to enter into such a loan by the banks to hit their own targets was part of the 'problem' and also that this specific issue continued to 'run' on into EFGs sold by the banks since 2009 when the British Business Bank introduced the new scheme.

I was also concerned by the evident lack of input from the BIS when complaints on the SFLGS were made about the running and implementation of the schemes and the BIS reliance on their 'hands off' policy with a total reliance on bankers in those schemes - which allowed only the participating banks to administer and then decide upon the practices used. That meant many SFLGS were 'miss sold'.

We are all now aware that all bankers are not truthful and that they may mislead to achieve their own benefits/targets/bonuses/promotion/s. The British Business Bank has continued to rely upon banking honesty to implement and administer EFG schemes whilst also providing a larger lending ‘pool’.

But, there is a vast difference between the 'sales' end of the banking and lending system and the recoveries 'end' - where everything previously signed is examined in detail for it's legality for the bank and lender’s purposes to obtain payment against the individual' assets. No matter what the individuals were told or sold or how it was misrepresented or in some cases deliberately miss sold.

A popular banking 'sales patter' was that the individual was not liable for anything other than the % which the government did not guarantee and even senior bankers have stated that as being their understanding in public forums. If a business owner or director is 'advised' by the banker or lender on those terms and sold on 'those' terms up to and at the point of signature, the incorrect statement/s then impair the awareness of the individuals singing 'into' that agreement.

A further issue/problem was the delay in funds reaching the business account - sometimes many months after they were urgently required (in one case 5 months elapsed and that was not unusual) which immediately put those businesses under pressure for funds, whilst there was a lack of any visible bank support – which also denied the business 'opportunity' (which was the reason for the request for funding in the first place). 'Opportunities', once lost by such incompetence may not come again and the business may be denied any future or profit.

The bureaucratic incompetence of the banks in administering the SFLGS and then EFGs in which the banks apparent lack of knowledge of the scheme itself/of the businesses/their market place and their funding have made matters far worse than they might have been. In my opinion banks have used both schemes for their own benefits often against the interests of the businesses, which they were being 'sponsored' to support and promote.

Widening the pool of lenders, whilst providing greater access to finance for smaller business has not removed the danger from Director’s Personal Guarantees which are now evidently being taken without adequate control at the ‘sales stage’.

In my opinion banks and business lenders do not have (and may well never have the same ideology or long term ideals) as smaller businesses. Government schemes whilst well meaning have been poorly presented and badly undermined by banks and bankers incompetence and by bankers using such schemes for the bank's self interest. Even with the new ‘crop’ of lenders, the issue of their ‘self interest’ appears to be driving ‘sales’ and often it appears without the ‘back up’ of ‘back room’ checks.

Where we have been involved at an early stage, IBAS has been able to investigate a number of EFG miss sales ‘cases’ and obtain a very good resolution for the customer. - Eddy Weatherill chief executive IBAS


We can act quickly to advise and protect you if you are facing liquidation, receivership and being threatened by bank business debt claims demands or Director's Personal Guarantee Debt Claims demands from Limited Company debts.

IBAS experience and knowledge is crucial in supporting any business banking customer in dispute with their bank.

Act now before it is too late to help you


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Last modified: 16th September 2019