Alderson Print Group has blamed Barclays for putting the jobs of its 250 staff at risk as it prepared to file a notice of intent to appoint an administrator for its ABP web division.
The Surrey-based business has warned its employees that it has been advised to place all of the group's companies into administration following the bank's "unfair" decision to partially withdraw its CID facility.
In a letter to staff, joint managing directors Ron and Peter Alderson laid the blame firmly at the feet of the bank claiming it had "bounced legitimate and available payments to suppliers" while ring fencing the group's cash.
The group claims that the changes to its lending facility were "retaliation" after it raised a complaint of interest rate swap mis-selling in line with the FSA Redress Scheme.
A letter to Barclays from the print group's solicitors, Harrison Clark, dated 19 August, which was passed to PrintWeek this morning (20 August), accused the bank of acting in "flagrant disregard" of assurances given to the FSA not to adversely vary complainants' existing lending facilities.
The letter went on to state that on or around 10 August, Barclays had informed Alderson Print Group (APG) that it could no longer draw down on its CID facility in respect of invoices to a key customer.
It continued: "You were fully aware, from your previous daily reviews that our client's cash-flow projections relied upon this element of the facility (to the extent of £600,000) and that the withdrawal would have a devastating impact upon the company's trading position.
"As you are also aware, the withdrawal of the facility and the further 'reserve' in the region of £200,000 which has not yet been justified, nor qualified has led to our client being unable to pay key suppliers and has therefore jeopardised their business including the livelihood of over 250 staff.
"So far as our client is aware there had been no material change to the position of the business that could have led to you varying the CID facility. Our client is therefore drawn to the conclusion that the only reason you have done so is in response to its seeking a review of the mis-sold interest rate swaps."
According to the group, it will try to continue and trade through its sheetfed site, the only property not mortgaged by Barclays, throughout the administration process; it also intends to make an emergency application to the High Court for injunctive relief against the bank "unless terms can be agreed within the next 24 hours to reinstate the facility and remedial action taken by the bank, in respect of the damage already suffered as a result of its wholly unjustified withdrawal".
"We want the whole world to know how bullying and self-serving banks are risking hundreds of jobs, when it's our money as tax payers that fund them. It is that exact greed which we pay for now," the directors said in a statement.
More to follow…
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