Grubby Ex-Shadow Chancellor Now CEO of a Debt Collectors Association Openly Tells Lenders the Government and British Business Bank to Stick to a Hard-line Approach with SMEs on Repayment of BBLs

Sadly, with all the sleaze swirling around the Covid Loan Schemes, it is no surprise to hear an Ex-Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer who, part way through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, became the CEO of a “Debt Collectors Association” urging the Government, Lenders, and the British Business Bank to stick to a hard-line approach to those who received one of those loans.

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That person is of course Chris Leslie, CEO of the Credit Services Association.

It was just a few weeks ago he showed his true or should I say “new” colours, and it also shows how a well-paid job can change one’s outlook and moral compass, which is a sad state of affairs as he was also once a trustee of the Consumer Credit Counselling Service advice charity (now Step Change) and Credit Action (now the Money Charity).

Taking part in a podcast chaired by Bill McCall, President, Chartered Banker Institute, Leslie said the following:

“The scheme in the UK (Bounce Back Loan Scheme) has already baked in a certain approach to forbearance, I think it started with the option of a 6 year repayment period, that has been extended to a potential 10 year period, there are already options in there about interest repayment holidays, 6 months erm, so forth if payments can’t be made in a particular way.

But, er, you know, I think the phycological animal spirit issues are really important in the design of all this, we are talking about one and a half million businesses here, if they get that sense that there is a write-off in prospect, the payments will then cease, and I think its really important, its an obvious thing to say, the Government, British Business Bank and the creditors the banks as well need to make it clear this is due for repayment, and that is a consistent message that continues right from the offset.

To be fair to those who will repay it, there is nothing worse than those small business who do make the effort, turnaround, get to a position where they can repay, looking at others later down the line and thinking if only, if only we had deferred.

Is I think that consistency is important from the offset.”

Money Talks I Guess

Sad how he appears to have crossed over to the “other-side”, still I am sure he is being paid handsomely in his new job, working with debt collectors day in and day out, one must talk the talk and walk the walk, I guess.

Not a dickybird about how those suffering any type of mental health problems brought on by being so vulnerable at the time they took out the loan, they did not have a clue they were signing away their legal protections the Government removed to make the scheme go live, or any of the many other problems as to why SMEs might not be able to repay their Bounce Back Loan.