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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.


BBC Testimonial for IBAS - Your Money Not a moving account  


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.


Banks and Bankers do not 'play fair'! IBAS protects you from the bank's often hostile intentions and actions.

Banks produce documents they will rely on for their legal claim on you - it's vital to know which documents they will hide.




The Bank’s Final letter for your business banking dispute complaint & business complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS)

It is a fact that all banks spend considerable time and effort 'drafting' their Final response letter to the customer on complaints because they know that their Final Response letter is designed to persuade the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) to their position. By that time the bank’s customer services/complaints department will have already extracted all your information from you for their benefit by questioning you and then they will have dismissed your complaint/s.

Bank Final response letters are drafted and written by legally trained bank staff who are communicating with the FOS daily and are therefore completely aware of FOS decision making.

The Financial Ombudsman Service staff are aware that bank Final response letters are prepared by legally trained bank staff and the bank’s Final response letter will influence the FOS ‘investigator’.

Bank customers may believe their business banking dispute complaint/s will get a fair hearing by the FOS and from reading the FOS website may also be misled into believing that it is ‘easy’ to make a business banking complaint through the FOS.

However, banks possess very distinct advantages, which include legal knowledge, long experience of ‘complaint casework’ and know what is effective (for the bank). Banks also know how the FOS 'thinks' as they communicate regularly with the FOS by telephone.

The Financial Ombudsman Service do not calculate bank accounts to provide an independent calculation where they are required. The Financial Ombudsman Service will rely on bank methodology and bank calculations when dealing with a business banking account dispute.

The bank's Final letter allows you 6 months to make a complaint to the FOS.


see very poor 2019 - Trust Pilot Reviews for Financial Ombudsman Service


What will the Independent Banking Advisory Service (IBAS) provide you for your business banking dispute complaint which the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) will not?

IBAS will carry out fully independent investigations of business bank accounts based on the customers complaint and will provide fully independent calculations with a report which can then be relied upon to evidence incorrect charging, bank errors and overcharging.

Historical banking account errors/bank charging mistakes and bank overcharging claims evidenced by IBAS account investigations and calculations enable effective business banking account complaint progression. IBAS has been calculating business bank account and overcharging complaints since the mid 1990's

IBAS account investigations enhance the customer's complaint with substance to evidence bank charging errors to the customers advantage.

IBAS will investigate business banking disputes which IBAS 'take on' and progress for the customer.

IBAS reports can then be relied upon for any business banking dispute which IBAS has accepted.

IBAS investigate Director’s Bank Personal Guarantee dispute complaints and assess all other security documents held by the bank for lending purposes to establish the facts and historical positions. Specific advice on business banking account/s disputes and further actions required are provided by IBAS once our investigations conclude.

Information from those we have assisted since 1992 show that other ‘advisors’, solicitors & also the FOS carried out very limited or basic ‘checks’ on business banking complaints. Basic ‘checks’ cannot identify customer defences, allow debt reduction or eliminate a debt being claimed.

It’s clear that ‘other advisors’ provide advice and ‘outcomes’ without necessary facts. That disadvantages or destroys the customer’s ‘case’.

IBAS has a long established standard practice for investigating bank customer’s business banking account disputes in depth – other ‘advisors’ do not.


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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.



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Last modified: 24th January 2020