British Destinations members may recall that we identified a worrying trend 12 to 24 months ago re bank lending. Far from lending to small businesses we noted that banks appeared to be unexpectedly withdrawing existing loans. The problem in destinations appeared to relate in particular to accommodation providers. We raised the problem with several of our national contacts and hearing nothing more, it dropped off our radar.
Articles in this weekend’s broad sheets suggest that a BIS backed inquiry has indeed found evidence of deliberate manipulation of small business loans, with the properties of businesses forced into administration then being bought up at knock down price by the property investment arm of the self-same banks. In the specific cases mentioned in the Sunday Times the particular culprit is identified as RBS, its unclear yet if others might or might not be implicated: http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/uk_news/National/article1344412.ece .
As ever the gap between what is being reported in the press and the reality may be significant. Regardless, there is definitely going to be announcements made today Monday 25 November and what is likely to be a fairly unfavourable report published. There might be something and nothing; alternatively it may be the next big banking scandal and a potential whooper at that. If there is anything in it then it may well involve some of your own local businesses. Watch this space……….