Director hit with lengthy ban after bankruptcy investigation identified further Bounce Back Loan abuse
Simon Paul Inglis King, 65, from Plymouth, has been disqualified as a company director for 10 years after an investigation found he had claimed two Bounce Back Loans for his business totalling £80,000 - an amount of £30,000 more than the maximum allowed by the scheme.
His ban comes on top of an existing 5-year bankruptcy restriction, also for Bounce Back Loan abuse.
Simon King was the director of Blackfriars Contracts Ltd, which was incorporated in 2012 and ran as a printer in Plymouth until the company went into liquidation in December 2020. The business had been part of a long-running family printing operation in Plymouth, referred to as a “hidden treasure” in the city’s business world.
At the point of liquidation, the company had debts of more than £230,000. King later had a bankruptcy order made against him personally in July 2021, owing more than £100,000 and leading to bankruptcy restrictions of 5 years when it was found that he had abused another Bounce Back Loan.
In that instance, he had exaggerated his income as a sole trader in another business, Blackfriars Contracts Division, to claim a £50,000 loan to which he hadn’t been entitled.
King’s repeat abuse of the scheme came to light through an audit of Blackfriars Contracts Ltd, which uncovered records of the separate Bounce Back Loans, and triggered an investigation into his conduct as the firm’s director.
Insolvency Service investigators discovered that King had applied for a £50,000 Bounce Back Loan for Blackfriars Contracts Ltd, and once the company had received it he applied again for another loan for the business – this time of £30,000 – which had been paid into a different bank account belonging to the company.
Under the rules of the Bounce Back Loan scheme, which was set up to support companies through the pandemic, businesses could apply for loans of up to 25% of their previous year’s turnover, up to a maximum of £50,000. Businesses were not allowed to apply for an additional loan unless they had originally borrowed less than the maximum amount.
The £80,000 of BBL money was outstanding when the company closed in December that year, as part of around £230,000 owed to creditors.
The Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy accepted a disqualification undertaking from Simon King after he didn’t dispute that he’d breached the conditions of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme by applying for two separate loans totalling £80,000.
His disqualification is effective from 7 November 2022 and lasts for 10 years.
The disqualification undertaking prevents King from directly, or indirectly, becoming involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company, without the permission of the court.
Martin Gitner, Deputy Head of Insolvent Investigations at the Insolvency Service, said:
Bounce back loans were introduced to help viable businesses through an extremely difficult period, providing them with the financial support during the pandemic to protect jobs and return to prosperity.
The conduct of Simon Paul Inglis King fell extremely short of the standards required of company directors and he has been removed from the corporate arena for a significant amount of time. His ban should serve as a clear warning that if you abuse Government support schemes you should expect to be caught and punished.
Notes to Editors
Simon King is of Plymouth. His date of birth is February 1957
Simon King initially signed and received a 5-year Bankruptcy Restrictions Undertaking for similar misconduct in relation to his bankruptcy pertaining to the fact that he obtained a Bounce Back Loan as a sole trader after overstating his turnover.
Blackfriars Contracts Ltd (Company Reg no. 08276301)
Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings.
Persons subject to a disqualification order are bound by a range of restrictions.