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Established in 1992



Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) & Small Firms Loan Guarantee Scheme (SFLGS)


Banks provided clear procedures for their employees when they 'sold' the business bank customers Enterprise Finance Guarantee Loans (EFG) & Small Firms Loan Guarantee Schemes (SFLGS) or were '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 long history of helping Company Directors, Limited Companies, Businesses and individuals who have provided personal guarantees to banks but have not received fair treatment from those banks. IBAS has investigated many EFG & SFLGS complaints where banks have claimed and made demand on a director's personal guarantee for their company debt.

Our experience has shown that bank employees do not always follow the correct procedures to obtain director's bank personal guarantee signatures and then 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, guidance and assistance to Directors with EFG or small firms loan guarantee (SFLGS) debt claim demands and director's bank personal guarantee debt claims.

We believe IBAS is the most economic, professional, confidential guidance and direct assistance organisation available for UK Business banking problems and disputes, up to and including litigation. IBAS has always provided feedback and guidance to those who email us.




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IBAS knowledge has been collated from thousands of IBAS business banking cases since 1992 which provides unique information which we use to assess where to investigate and what will produce the best results.

IBAS helps/guides those with UK Business Banking disputes and Director's Personal Guarantee business debt claims - 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.


IBAS has seen commercial property mortgages during the last year where the bank has incorrectly charged interest and also incorrect margins as far back as 2005 up to date. That can also mean the bank has involved their 'Specialist' bank department who have inflicted Excess and Penalty interest on the Commercial Property Mortgages where they should not have done so - reducing company profits and opportunity.

This is not just one bank. The amounts are considerable. The results if left unchecked or unidentified where the company trading is already reduced or is under pressure will inevitably create a default.

That would represent a 'False default' which is 'created' by the bank. That then creates an insolvency situation - where the bank's conduct can go entirely unnoticed despite property and assets being devalued and then 'lost' by the business. At that stage, Director's personal guarantees to the bank for the business debts will be 'called upon'.

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.

IBAS has featured on BBC TV, BBC TV News, ITV, Meridian and Sky News and contributed to many editorials and articles including those for the Sunday Times, Times, Daily Mail, Daily Express, Telegraph and Daily Mirror.

Independent Banking Advisory Service (IBAS) - IBAS launched in 1992 as a specialist unincorporated business banking membership organization assisting bank customers with UK business banking account loan disputes and business banking debt disputes with their bank. Our analysis and investigation of business bank loans, business bank accounts, business banking contracts, business banking account facilities and business banking debt recovery information has been instrumental in our member's success. -

Last modified: 18th March 2019