Updated – I Have Submitted an Official Complaint to the British Business Bank, Asking Them to Stop the Stress, Alarm and Fear and Potentially Save Live’s by Coming Clean About Bounce Back Loans.

This is possibly one of the most important complaints that I have just submitted to the British Business Bank, but one that needs addressing at lightning speed.

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Whilst I am in hope that they will do what I am asking for swiftly, I am prepared to pursue it further if needed.

Please grab a coffee and read on but read it in full.

Please be aware reader discretion is needed as I cover some topics that need addressing that you may find distressing:

Update 1: Even though the complaint email was sent on Saturday Morning, within a couple of hours the BBB have acknowledged receipt of it and it is being passed to the relevant team.

Update 2 25/2023

The Complaint

Hello British Business Bank,

In line with your complaints procedure, I would like to submit the following official complaint which I feel is in the scope of your Complaints Handling Policy. This complaint relates to those with a Bounce Back Loan, including Sole Traders and Company Directors etc.

Resolution of Complaint

I would like the resolution of this complaint to be the following:

You update your website changing this:

“The borrower always remained fully liable for the debt.”

To this:

There are some circumstances that will result in a BBL Borrower ceasing to become part liable or fully liable for a BBL debt, either before or after defaulting on a Bounce Back Loan. (Then perhaps a fully transparent list of the circumstances in which a BBL borrower will not become fully or part liable).

The page in question is:


However, any additional other pages on which that is mentioned will need changing if you uphold this complaint.

Reason for Complaint:

The wording on your website is causing stress, alarm, fear and in several instances reported to myself, some of which I have passed over to the Financial Conduct Authority and in other instances Bank Bosses for their attention, suicidal thoughts to those who have taken out a Bounce Back Loan.

I cannot and will not sit by in the knowledge that somewhere out there, people may be considering taking their own life due to the wording of your website, and I cannot and will not sit by knowing there are people out there who are living in constant fear that for the rest of their lives they will be liable for a Bounce Back Loan when that is not the case.

I truly hope you understand and can see the logic of this complaint.

Merit of Complaint:

Anyone with a Bounce Back Loan will of course refer to your website for information and clarification along with checking their BBL Lenders website and the Lenders support teams.

However, this complaint is being sent to you to address, due to you being, for want of a better term or phrase the “overseer” of the BBL scheme and the organisation that helped design and then launch that scheme.

The Complaint:

On the following page of your website:


It states, in regard to Bounce Back Loans the following:

“The borrower always remained fully liable for the debt.”

My investigations have uncovered that statement not being as factual or as clear as it could be, and I would like it amended or changed to reflect additional information received from Government Departments and official Government Spokespeople.

As I have mentioned above that statement is not as clear as it could be, and is causing people a great deal of stress, alarm and sadly in some instances suicidal thoughts.

That is something I am more than confident you as an organisation would immediately and with speed like to address.

Obviously I fully understand that wording is not something you have done with malice or on purpose but it needs addressing and clarifying much more clearly than it currently is. I also note BBL Lenders also state either the exact wording or very similar on their websites, letters they send out and their BBL support teams also say the same.

However, this complaint is addressed to yourself and not any BBL Lender, as they do all tend to refer people to your website.

I do of course understand that the wording of that sentence is now in the past tense “remained” and not “remains”, as the screenshots of your website show, whether intentional or not, but I do feel further clarification is needed to allay the fears and worries of all concerned.

Original Wording When Scheme Live – Screenshot:

New Wording Now Scheme Closed to Applicants – Screenshot:

National Audit Office Report

On the 3rd of December 2021 in their “The Bounce Back Loan Scheme: an update” the National Audit Office give an insight into the full collection and recoveries process agreed between lenders and government.

Report: https://www.nao.org.uk/reports/the-bounce-back-loan-scheme-an-update/

I have posted it below for your attention:

As you will see as from above it does clearly state in the Repayment and Enforcement sections, there is a time limit on attempting to set up a repayment plan of 12 months from the demand of repayment, with “no time limit” on the length of the repayment agreement agreed that can be put in place.

This was also clarified by Sarah Munby (see next section)

“Enforcement action is not expected and is only to be expected in extenuating circumstances such as the Lender suspects the Borrower is involved in serious or organised fraud or is refusing to pay but has assets.”

That does clearly therefore indicate the BBL Lenders have a 12 month time limit to attempt to set up a repayment plan, and if the borrower is not a serious or organised fraudster and they have no assets hidden away but cannot pay then there is very little chance of enforcement and no chance of further recovery action, due to the Lenders giving up at the 12 month time limit (some even before) of trying to set up repayment plan or repayment in full but failing to do so.

If you feel the National Audit Office have lied or misled me in that document above please let me know and I will take it up with them.

Sarah Munby – Dept of Trade

As you will see below in a statement, Sarah Munby who at the time was the Permanent Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy, (now the Department of Business and Trade (DBT)), (she is now the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology ( DSIT )), gave (to the Public Accounts Committee ) both spoken and via the letter (below) clarification on the 12 month limit:

If you feel the Sarah Munby has lied or misled me in that document above please let me know and I will take it up with her and the Department of Trade.

I would therefore suggest that her statement “Ministers made clear when designing the recovery guidance that they considered 12 months to be a proportionate period of time for lenders to pursue outstanding debts”, does contradict your statement that

“The borrower always remained fully liable for the debt.”

For whilst they may appear to always remain liable for the debt, as the Lenders are the only organisation that can enforce a BBL debt and they cannot do so unless in extenuating circumstances, and the official Ministerial guidance is to give up all recovery action after 12 months, your website statement is confusing to say the least, and as I say is causing some BBL recipients a great deal of stress, alarm and sadly in some instances suicidal thoughts. That needs to stop, I am sure you will agree.

Government Holds Guarantees Not Loans

Some people are under the illusion that the Government could go chasing them for a BBL debt once the banks have claimed on the guarantee, ceased all their recovery action after 12 months and deemed enforcement not to be appropriate due to the guidance, but as Sir Tom Scholar did state the Government only holds guarantees and not loans:

Plus HM Treasury have also stated that they will not pursue BBL debts, confirming what Sir Tom has said.

I also note that the Government cannot act as an agent for the Lender:

Based on the above alone, I do feel that the statement ““The borrower always remained fully liable for the debt.” is not as factual or as insightful as it could be.

However, I will go on:

Department of Trade

I have asked the Department of Trade when, if ever, a LTD Company Strike Off will be unblocked and allowed to proceed when there is a BBL still owing, and they have confirmed to me:

Based on the above alone, I do feel that the statement ““The borrower always remained fully liable for the debt.” is not as factual or as insightful as it could be. As a vulnerable borrower for example, could see the Lender stepping back and allowing a LTD Company to go down the strike off route when the vulnerability has come to light.

Financial Ombudsman

I am sure, like myself, you are more than aware in some circumstances the Financial Ombudsman Service may deem it necessary to demand that a BBL Lender writes of a BBL:




Based on the above too, I do feel that the statement ““The borrower always remained fully liable for the debt.” is not as factual or as insightful as it could be. As a Lender could be told to write off a BBL when skulduggery by that Lender has been uncovered by an Ombudsman.

Insolvency Service / Minister of State

I have also seen the Insolvency Service step back when a BBL Borrower taking the Insolvency route has a BBL owing and quashing a disqualification when the borrower was deemed to be vulnerable:

I did ask the Insolvency Service for figures on how many people have had proposed disqualifications quashed/cancelled that way but they were very unwilling to enlighten me:


Based on the above too, I do feel that the statement ““The borrower always remained fully liable for the debt.” is not as factual or as insightful as it could be. For when vulnerabilities are uncovered, even with someone facing a Director ban, BBLs can be written off.

Discounts Offered by Debt Collectors on Defaulted Bounce Back Loans

You are more than aware that BBL Lenders are expected to follow their Business as Usual rules and, I have drawn to your attention and sought clarification on “substantial discounts” being offered to borrowers whose BBLs have been passed over to a debt collector:

I have of course covered this story on my website:


Based on the above too, I do feel that the statement ““The borrower always remained fully liable for the debt.” is not as factual or as insightful as it could be. For when vulnerabilities are uncovered, even with someone facing a Director ban, BBLs can be written off.

Financial Conduct Authority

I also notice that the Executive Committee at the Financial Conduct Authority, who as you are aware I am in constant touch with, are aware, after their own investigation, some BBL Lenders were not “playing fair” with BBL borrowers, which subsequently led to them issuing their “Letter to CEO’s”, a copy of which is below:

British Business Bank

You are of course more than aware yourselves, the dangers to vulnerable BBL borrowers as your Board discussed such and issued the Reservation Notice before the scheme went live.

I put it to you that those that may not have been vulnerable when they took out a Bounce Back Loan could now be.


Obviously I am aware that Blackrock UK have been given a £3million indemnity by the Government for their input into the Bounce Back Loan Scheme’s design, to cover them for claims, and whilst I could of course address this complaint to them, to see if it was of their making, I would rather initially get you to rectify this complaint, but I reserve the right to take that route, much more so if you feel it is their problem:

Kemi Badenoch

I did contact the Rt Hon Kemi Badenoch MP who was appointed Secretary of State for the Department for Business and Trade along with that Department mentioning people are suicidal, alas neither could be bothered to reply:

**Start of Email**

**End of Email**

Whilst I find their lack of reply utterly vile and disgusting, I trust you will reply speedily to this complaint and will be prepared to come to a satisfactory outcome.

Obviously I do not expect you to respond or mention Ms Badenoch or the Department for Business and Trade re their lack of response, but in the spirit of openness, and as I am making this complaint in its entirety public, it would be wrong of me not to mention it.

You do have my personal phone number and email address and I standby morning, noon, or night to respond to anything related to this complaint.

I could of course make this complaint 100 pages, if not longer, however I feel the above should give you an insight into what it is about, backed with cold hard proof and the very, very urgent need for the matter to be rectified.

I respectfully ask that you take this complaint seriously, and do not, like other Government Departments I contact, rattle out the old excuse “we do not want to be open and transparent as it could aid those looking to defraud the BBL scheme”, those that did rip it off have long gone and have resulted in allowances and estimates to be made re BBL fraud, which are going down in number not up.

We need to be focussing attention right now on those in a dark place who could be tipped over the edge or see no point in trying to Bounce Back due to them thinking, that they are always and forever going to be liable for their BBL, when there is no way they can afford to repay it. When that, in just the instances I have highlighted, clearly is NOT always the case.

I look forward to your reply and getting this matter, which I am classing as an emergency sorted out.

All the Very Best


**End of Complaint**

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