Businessman’s loan application delivered in a wheelbarrow

A BUSINESSMAN trying to secure a bank loan has been doing some astonishing number crunching.

Simon, who wishes to withhold his surname, says lawyers for the Taunton branch of his bank have pestered him for answers to irrelevant questions.

As a result, nine months down the line he has still not managed to win approval for the million pound-plus loan to expand his residential letting concern.

During that time he has had to print out and complete a form running to 2,180 pages, weighing 12.6kg and standing 10in high.

Dressed in a tuxedo, he delivered his answers to 162 multi-part questions in a wheelbarrow to his solicitors on Friday.

Simon, who lives near Taunton, says the lawyers’ demands have so far cost him more than £10,000 and rising.

And he could lose out on opportunities because he wants to use the money to purchase further properties before the Stamp Duty holiday ends on March 31, 2021.

He said: “They’re just asking for basic data on the properties I already own such as water rates, index map searches and certified copies of insurance.

“One of the searches was to see if neighbouring land could be used for village fetes, even though all of my properties are in heavily built up areas. And they want to know when our properties were last redecorated.

“The enquiries are largely inappropriate and would be primarily intended for properties being sold to a third party. We’re not selling any properties.

“A number of items on the list have already been provided to the bank, so there’s quite a lot of duplication.

“A little effort to make the enquiry list more relevant would have both reduced our antipathy of the process and prevented an inevitable cooling of relations between us and the bank.

“We have spoken to other clients of the bank who have recently taken out similar loans. Costly and time-consuming counter-party solicitors were not required.”

Simon is frustrated at the “inordinate amount of time” everything is taking since a meeting with the bank in February.

He said: “Notwithstanding everything, we realise there are elements of farce in all this.”

Somerset County Gazette | News