Director disqualified after taking Covid support loan

Jo Francis
Monday, November 29, 2021

The owner of a fulfilment firm has been banned from acting as a director for seven years after taking out a Bounce Back Loan despite knowing his business was already insolvent.

Firm received maximum £50,000 Bounce Back Loan
Firm received maximum £50,000 Bounce Back Loan

Christopher Pearson was the sole director of Rugby-based Pick It Pack It Send It Ltd at the time of the conduct breach.

On 16 June 2020, Pearson was advised by an insolvency practitioner that Pick It Pack It Send It was insolvent and that any continued trading should not worsen the position of its creditors.

On 27 July 2020 he applied for a taxpayer-backed Bounce Back Loan of £50,000. The scheme was targeted at small businesses to help firms get through the pandemic. 

The maximum loan amount available via the fast-track funding was £50,000. 

The Insolvency Service report into Pearson’s behaviour said that on 28 July 2020, the £50,000 BBL funds were paid into Pick It Pack It Send It’s business bank account. 

On the same day, Pearson transferred £38,000 of the BBL funds from the company’s business bank account into his personal bank account, “contrary to the terms of the BBL agreement which state that BBL funds should be used for the economic benefit of the business”. 

Pick It Pack It Send It ceased trading on 22 October 2020. 

At liquidation on 29 December 2020 the BBL of £50,000 remained outstanding.

Other creditors were owed £153,628, including £37,730 to HMRC for VAT and £76,514 to trade and expense creditors. 

Pearson has been disqualified from acting as a director for seven years, effective from 29 November 2021.

In Pick It Pack It Send It’s most recent accounts, for the year to 28 February 2019, the firm employed 13 staff and had shareholders’ funds of just £3,896.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme closed to new applications and applications for top-ups on 31 March 2021. More than 1.56m loans were approved via the scheme, with a total value of £47.36bn.

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