Case Study: Wesleyan Bank – Commercial Loans

Businesses and business professionals may at some point in their journey require financial support in order to help achieve their business expansion goals or career progression needs. Borrowing money is the most common method used to achieve this.

Wesleyan Bank is one of the UKs leading lenders in the healthcare, professional service and education sectors, specifically offering commercial finance for dentists, pharmacists, SMEs, schools & universities, professional practices (including legal and accountancy firms), partner equity buy-ins lends, and business cash-flow support lends.

Else Solicitors have been working with Wesleyan Bank for a number of years. Solicitors in the Corporate team at Else, assist Wesleyan by performing due diligence on behalf of the bank and preparing various security documents. The team particularly support Wesleyan in respect of its lending transactions in the acquisition of healthcare businesses. Else have also supported on similar transactions for veterinary practices, accountants and partner equity buy-in lends. In 2018, the Corporate team acted on 41 lending transactions for the bank securing an aggregate of £23.5m worth of its investments. The value of each of the loans range from £80k to £1.8million. Borrowers include individuals, partnerships, LLPs and companies (sometimes requiring complex lending structures across their group).

Else Solicitors support banks and lenders such as Wesleyan by;

  1. Completing due diligence checks relating to the borrower, the business being acquired or specific asset(s) on which security is being taken (i.e a property);
  2. Where property is associated with a lending transaction, Neil Etherington, Head of Commercial Property, is parachuted into the process at the due diligence stage. Where a property is used to secure the lend or when a commercial lease agreement is in place our experts review the details to flag any issues or potential concerns.
  3. Reporting to the lender on any key areas of concern and/or flagging where more information is required; and
  4. Preparing the necessary security documents to secure Wesleyan’s lend including;
    • Debentures;
    • Guarantees;
    • Charges over various company assets;
    • Charges over company and personal property;
    • Assignment of life policies; and
    • Personal guarantee documentation.
  5. In addition, Laura Charles, debt recovery team leader, and her team have been successfully recovering monies owed from consumers who have missed loan repayments (average debtor value £20-25k) to the bank since 2012. Generally speaking, once Wesleyan have instructed Else to issue a Letter Before Action (LBA), the debtors tend to want to settle the debt at the pre-legal stage by either setting up payment plans or making a settlement in full. However, if the debtor then defaults on the agreed repayments, Else will progress the case and the legal court process will commence. This added value service means that Else not only offer advice at the pre-lending stage but also support the bank in ensuring the loan is subsequently repaid.

As a multi-service commercial law firm, Else Solicitors offer legal advice across various disciplines which makes selecting the firm as a preferred legal provider an easy choice. When working for organisations such as Wesleyan, Else can administer the project under one roof, which means all aspects of complex lending transactions are managed by one well-oiled team.

If you need additional advice relating to banking and finance or to understand how Else Solicitors can support you and your business, please contact Adam Gilbert, Head of Corporate and Commercial team please call 01283 526229 or email adam.gilbert@elselaw.co.uk.

Article published: February 2019

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