Hundreds of hotel and catering businesses qualify to join a major High Court fraud claim against Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank, according to Allsquare.
The law firm has announced the final phase of its bookbuild for the case against Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank (now Virgin Money) and the National Australia Bank over its Tailored Business Loans (TBLs) and Fixed Rate Loans.
Analysis showed customers in the hotel and catering sector were among those particularly affected, accounting for hundreds of eligible loans, as well as businesses in the property investment, farming, construction and retail sectors.
The largest eligible businesses are now estimated to be owed millions of pounds, though average claim sizes are anticipated to be in the hundreds of thousands, with even the smallest loan sizes owed thousands of pounds.
In light of this new information, Allsquare is ramping up the final phase of its bookbuild ahead of the first court hearing in December.
The case is being pursued in the High Court in London in partnership with specialist litigation firm RGL Management and Michelmores. The group action alleges that Clydesdale Bank (including Yorkshire Bank) and the National Australia Bank behaved fraudulently and dishonestly in the sale of these loans.
It said many thousands of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank TBL and Fixed Rate Loan customers may still be unaware that they have a valid claim against these banks.
Anybody in England, Wales and Scotland who took out a Tailored Business Loan or a Fixed Rate Loan from Clydesdale Bank or Yorkshire Bank is eligible to sign up for the group action claim.
Anyone who thinks they may be eligible to join the group action is urged to contact AllSquare to discuss their claim.
Daniel Hall, managing director of AllSquare, said: "With a date in court now set for this December, this is the last push to reach anybody who has not joined those thousands of claimants who are already safe in the knowledge they have signed up for the redress they are owed.
"Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank's institutional dishonesty when selling Tailored Business Loans (TBLs) led to the destruction of countless lives and livelihoods – but any customer who was sold a Fixed Rate Business Loan or TBL is eligible to join this compensation claim, which is expected to run into the hundreds of millions of pounds. In the current business climate, we are particularly keen to reach people facing difficult circumstances who may not realise they are owed thousands, and in many cases six or seven figures, by the bank. The data we have analysed today allows us to reach out to those sectors that we know were particularly affected and bring this to their attention."
A spokesperson for Clydesdale Bank said: "There continues to be absolutely no substance or merit in the allegations made in RGL's claim and we have made this clear in our defence. Over recent years we have worked hard to investigate all historic SME conduct issues and we are confident we have done the right thing for those customers involved. We will continue to defend our position robustly throughout any legal process."