Bank’s lending decision not within our power to investigate

Concerns about lending decisions,
Robbie applied for a business loan in April 2021, but the bank declined his application because his business was in poor financial shape. By accident, he was then sent an internal email in which the bank had commented on how he ran his business and the nature of the premises. Robbie said the bank had declined his application on the basis of this “hearsay opinion”, which suggested the bank had not followed its usual lending assessment process.
June 2022

Later that year, he asked the bank to consolidate his lending into a single loan and the bank replied that it would need full documentation before undertaking a reassessment of his lending to fulfil his request. Robbie considered this unreasonable because he did not believe his request would change the risk to the bank.

Our investigation

We explained to Robbie that we did not have the power to look into decisions relating to a bank’s commercial judgements, and this included lending decisions. How much risk a bank was prepared to take on was a matter for the bank alone to decide, not us. We told Robbie this meant we could not look into the decision itself or the reasons for the decision. Nor could we look into the bank's decision about what documents it needed from Robbie when he asked it to consolidate his lending.

We could, however, look at whether the bank had followed the correct process in assessing his lending application in April 2021. We did this and found it had done so.


We could not uphold his complaint.

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