Banks face new mis-selling scandal

By Adrian Quine, Business Reporter Firms were sold fixed-rate business loans to protect them against interest rate changes, but banks secretly added a swap, which had the reverse effect. This led to firms going bankrupt. “Embedded swaps” are unregulated. The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) says any customer unhappy with a product should contact their bank.…

Board to Examine Lending Problems

The Access to Finance Implementation Panel (AFIP) has been launched by finance minister Simon Hamilton and enterprise minister Arlene Foster. Its chairman will be Russel Griggs, a lead reviewer of the banks’ appeals processes. Hamilton said: “This panel will put a new focus on banking and access to finance issues here, particularly business lending. “For…

Business Matters – SME Bank Relationships

Pauric McGowan, professor of entrepreneurship & business development at Ulster Business School, discusses the future agenda for the relationship between banks and SMEs. A major study by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and the Ulster Business School (UBS) delved into the views of SME owner–managers on the key elements that make up their relationship with their…

New Initiative from InvestNI

An initiative has been launched to assist small and medium-sized businesses access funding in Northern Ireland. The Finance Voucher initiative has been launched by Invest NI and will provide support for businesses to access professional help to prepare funding proposals. Businesses will be able to use the voucher to cover up to 49 per cent…