Bank not obliged to lend to café owner

Concerns about lending decisions,
In 2020, Sophie asked the bank to refinance business lending she had at another bank because it would be easier for her to service the loan on her business, a café.
May 2022

Sophie said the bank had previously promised to do this in a “letter of credit”. COVID-19 hit, and the bank asked for financial statements for the previous 12 months. However, Sophie said she had already provided such information and should not have to do it again. Besides, she added, the bank had already promised to lend to her.

Our investigation

We examined all correspondence between Sophie and the bank and could find no evidence of a current promise to lend her money. We explained that we could not make the bank lend money to her because such a decision was a matter of commercial judgement, something we did not have the power to consider. The letter promising credit had expired in 2018 – two years earlier – and the bank was entitled to ask for more up-to-date information on which to make a decision about whether she could afford the loan.


We could not uphold Sophie’s complaint.

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