BANKS and SME’S – FAIR or FOUL

There is no doubt that Banks enjoy a dominant position when it comes to SME’s and we have seen numerous examples of questionable practices whereby Banks have used their dominant position to manipulate businesses and business owners for their own benefit covering areas such as loans in general, personal guarantees and excessive fees. Our role at AFT is not to be ‘anti Bank’ but rather to seek to redress the balance by providing SME’s with access to consultants who have a wide range of both banking expertise and business experience, and who have been successful in negotiating settlement solutions over several years. To date the clients we have helped have benefited from debt reduction savings of approximately £4m. Our services include:

Debt Resolution

At AFT we specialise in delivering manageable debt settlement solutions outside of the insolvency process enabling business owners to move forward with certainty. The solutions that we provide can be as simple as negotiating sensible repayment terms although they frequently include some form of debt reduction whereby a reduced payment is made as full and final settlement of the debt. We work with clients experiencing a wide variety of Bank debt related problems some examples of which are:

  • Debt reduction negotiations to facilitate the managed repayment or refinance of existing Bank facilities
  • Settlement negotiations in relation to directors guarantees
  • Settlement negotiations in relation to residual debt liabilities
  • Renegotiation of existing facilities on more favourable terms

9 out of 10 AFT clients achieve a successful outcome

Business Advisory

Interest Rate Hedging Products (IRHP’s) and in particular interest rate SWAPS, have been widely publicised in view of the FCA scheme which was set up in 2012 to ensure that Bank’s provide adequate compensation to SME’s effected by these products. However most businesses are unaware that they could receive compensation in relation to the miss selling of other fixed interest rate loans (sometimes referred to as Tailored Business Loans), which are not regulated by the FCA and hence are not included within the FCA scheme. These fixed interest rate loan products were actively sold by some Bank’s and were specifically designed to avoid FCA regulation. However they generally included an IRHP embedded within the loan itself and as a result they carried most of the risks of an IRHP product but without the safe guards provided by the FCA. AFT have helped clients obtain compensation for these products even in cases where the loan has been repaid and the clients have moved Banks. One such client received a payout of £448,926