Insolvency Service: Busy Busy Busy Planing Their Fingers

Posted on Apr 19, 2022. by NTI

Tracee's neighbour has been due to have joinery work completed in her flat for about three months now. The artisan's excuses have become increasingly elaborate as deadlines arrive and depart with ne'er a whisper, and no nails being hammered and not a single sign of neither a screw nor chisel. However, the latest reason for his failure to turn up is Tracee's favourite, by far. The joiner reported this morning that he planed his finger prints off in a freak wardrobe-fitting incident over the weekend. (As a point of detail he reported that his better half had to touch the buttons on his iPhone to make the call, as his fingers hurt too much to do so himself.)

He shouldn't really have gone to all that bother. He could instead have joined the insolvency service which has worn off its collective fingertips, so furiously have they been typing and reporting of late. Their latest offering comes in the guise of a Bounce Back loan fact sheet, which explains very early on (as a bit of a teaser, as it happens), that such loans could have been taken for between £2,000 and £50,000, but could not be used for 'personal purposes'. Oh.

Yes, "oh", Messrs Ihsan and Ul Haque and every third person in Leicester, Britain's disqualification central.

The next point the fact sheet makes is that, once taken out, Bounce Back loans have to be repaid, which will be more of a shock to many of their beneficiaries than you would imagine. About one in four UK businesses applied for a Bounce Back loan and the funds provided £47.4 billion of credit via 1.6 million loans, which is close to the UK's annual defence budget, that the Government might need very soon. The latest estimation is that about £17 billion will never be repaid and that, unquestionably, is a lot.

This is what has led to the insolvency service issuing their fact sheet on the topic and they adopt a very stern note within it. Failure to repay your loan ('ere directors, pay attention ...) could result in:

- your company could be wound up by the court
- you could be disqualified as a director
- a court Order may be made for you to pay compensation to your creditors.

The fact sheet includes some quite entertaining 'case studies' about wicked people, whose names have not been changed to protect the guilty and shamed; one of whom goes under the sobriquet of 'Rotherham Bargain Basement Director'. His real name is Muneef Ihsan, and he was the proud owner of three companies trading out of his home address until September 2020, when he voluntarily wound each of them up. There was no evidence that any of Mr Ihsan's companies had ever traded, but this did not stop each of them enjoying the luxury of a £50,000 Bounce Back loan. Once the loans were granted (about 20 minutes after the applications were raised), Mr Ihsan transferred the funds into the account of his friend, Mahir Towid Ul Haque (who is most famous for being a massive Scrabble score). Then Rolexes were bought and personal accounts flourished ...

... until recently, when the Secretary of State accepted disqualification undertakings from both directors, with Muneef Ihsan banned for 13 years, and Mahir Towid Ul Haque banned for 6 years.

For every Ihsan and Ul Haque there are three dozen more and the insolvency service have their work cut out to nab them before the money runs out.

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