Declined by a bank? You can appeal

Caroline Williams Norfolk Chamber of Commerce

The major banks ( Barclays, HSBC, RBS (incl. NatWest), Lloyds (incl. Halifax/Bank of Scotland) and Santander (plus NI banks) in the UK and Northern Ireland have agreed that if your loan application is declined you have the right of appeal, as part of the BBA Better Business Finance Programme (betterbusinessfinance.co.uk).

When an appeal is raised, the decision will be reviewed by a second person from within the bank who was not involved in the original decision.

The banks will consider all the information originally provided and ask for more where they think it is necessary.

Barclays http://tinyurl.com/BarclaysAppeals

RBS  http://tinyurl.com/RBSAppeals

Santander http://tinyurl.com/SantanderAppeals

Lloyds TSB http://tinyurl.com/LloydsAppeals

HSBC  http://tinyurl.com/HSBCAppeals

The whole process is monitored and scrutinised by an independent team to ensure the banks are implementing a fair, prompt and transparent process.

In the first year of the programme, an appeal led to a change in decision in 4 out of 10 cases as a result of the process.

How do I appeal?
If you have been declined finance you bank should have given you instructions on how to appeal with your decline.  You will need to instigate an appeal if you feel you have been declined unfairly.  In most cases it can be started with a phone call to your bank, and there isn’t a charge.

An appeal can be made after any formal request for lending had been declined – this means any application that has gone through a credit assessment, after the bank has received the information from you to make a decision.

The bank should explain to you why your application has not been successful, and work with you to reshape the request if possible and give guidance on alternative sources of finance if appropriate.  The banks and the BBA are making this as easy as possible.

Where is there more information?
Contact your bank for information on appealing.

Alternatively, the participating banks and the BBA launched the website http://www.betterbusinessfinance.co.uk to provide more information on the appeals process and lending in general.

There is a range of Government support for finance
Just as businesses have different finance needs, there are a range of different Government support products for businesses, from grants to loans for start-ups, to tax breaks for angel investors.

You can find information on all Government schemes, a tool to help identify the most relevant ones at: gov.uk/business-finance-support-finder

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