Three-month wait for a bank meeting regarding the coronavirus loan
Businessman seeking coronavirus rebound loan has been told he is due to see a bank manager – November 4 in Bognor Regis.
Bournemouth-based Adrian Hopper was left dry when his own bank, Tide, stopped offering the government guaranteed loans.
He turned to Barclays, who were inundated with requests.
He was told he should meet with a manager at a branch – and the next date was over three months later and 71 miles away in West Susssex.
Mr. Hopper was employed for 20 years, but last year started his own sales and marketing agency, Creative Discipline.
When the coronavirus crisis hit, he found he had “fallen through the gaps” in the Chancellor’s business support system.
“We took advantage of the mortgage holidays, etc., but we wanted to try to find ways to make some money,” he said.
His business account was with Tide, who joined the rebound loan program but was unable to secure enough funding to meet demand. He stopped lending with 70,000 clients who would be on his waiting list.
Mr. Hopper tried to phone Barclays, one of the few big banks to take on new customers. “I spent 3-4 hours on the phone trying to reach them. I ended up meeting a very helpful and polite woman who was very helpful, but she said that due to your situation you will have to go to a branch to meet with a branch manager, ”he said. .
He said dates were particularly difficult to find locally. “So she left looking at Salisbury, Southampton and Portsmouth. Finally, she came back and said, “I can arrange a branch meeting for you on November 4th in Bognor.” ”
Mr Hopper, from Northern Ireland, added: “I had to use Google to find out where it was.”
A Barclays spokesperson said: ‘We are very sorry for the wait time Mr Hopper faces to access a bounce loan through Barclays. We have supported thousands of UK businesses with around 250,000 loans rebound totaling around £ 7.7 billion and continue to work extremely hard to get loans into the hands of our own clients, as well as to support clients of other banks.
“We will book appointments for clients as quickly as possible to complete the necessary verifications required under the program, and when capacity permits move them forward.”
In a letter to clients, Tide CEO Oliver Prill wrote last month that “the design of the government’s rebound loan program does not meet the requirements of our potential funding partners to be able to provide the funding we may lend you “. .
“Although we made it clear when signing up to our waitlist that we could not guarantee a bounce loan for every eligible business that signed up, and we would suggest that you also sign up with other lenders, we know a lot of you relied on Tide, ”he said.
“We are very sorry not to have been able, on this occasion, to take up this challenge and meet your expectations.
Tide asks the government to fund the loans rather than just guarantee them.