Wimbledon & South West cuts back on its lending: Bank's new chairman denies any shortage of funds Policy is to be 'a little more selective and careful'

WIMBLEDON & South West Finance, a small London bank, has told some of the brokers who introduce its business that it is unable to make further loans until the new year, 'owing to a full allocation of our lending funds'.

When questioned about this, Wimbledon's directors insisted that the bank is still lending and is not facing any special restrictions from the Bank of England.

Richard Scriven, who took over as Wimbledon's chairman after last Thursday's annual meeting, said: 'We have adequate funds at our disposal. The company is in no financial difficulties whatsoever.'

Mr Scriven, a former director of the merchant bank Morgan Grenfell, said: 'We are being a little more selective, perhaps a little more careful.'

Robin Eve, finance director, initially suggested that the letter to brokers may have been a euphemistic way of turning down a loan, 'a polite way of telling the broker to go away'.

After further investigation, he said Wimbledon had sent similar letters to only three or four brokers.

'Some of them were shut-offs to these brokers. The other was a very unfortunate turn of phrase.'

The copy passed to the Independent said Wimbledon was unable to consider any new loans 'because we have written much more new business in the first half of this financial year than we anticipated . . . We are hoping that we will be in a position to resume normal service early in the new year.'

Wimbledon has pounds 25m- pounds 30m of loans secured on a variety of residential and commercial property.

Earlier this summer, it was paying high rates of interest on deposits compared with those generally on offer from rival banks, building societies and finance houses.

Much-increased bad debts caused Wimbledon to lose pounds 1.7m in the year to March 1992, reducing its net assets to pounds 2.345m.

It lost more money in the year to March 1993, though 'considerably less' than in the previous year, according to Mr Eve.

He said that Wimbledon had turned in a 'reasonable profit' for the first half of the current year.

The bank's losses have left it with insufficient funds to meet the recent European banking directive on capital adequacy, which requires banks to have capital of 5 million ecu, or about pounds 3.8m.

Mr Scriven said Wimbledon was 'probably just a little bit short of (this amount)'.

The directive came into effect at the start of this year, but transitional 'grandfathering' arrangements allow Wimbledon additional time to meet the requirements.

To help it reach the target, earlier this year Wimbledon merged with a smaller but profitable rival, Holdenhurst Securities.

That company's last results show a pounds 134,000 pre-tax profit, and the company's balance sheet showed net assets of pounds 800,000. Mr Scriven and Mr Eve were previously directors of Holdenhurst.

Wimbledon's directors also include Viscount Glenapp, the eldest son and heir of the Earl of Inchcape. Viscount Glenapp, a Wimbledon shareholder, is a former director of Inchcape UK.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Financial Adviser

£20000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you recently QCA Level 4 qu...

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Guru Careers: Application Support Analyst / 1st Line Support

£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Application Support Analyst / 1st L...

Guru Careers: .NET Developer / Web Developer

£45K - £55K (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a full stack .NET D...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence