Dorset loan arranger
for a ride - Jill Tobin and her business|
Inside Out unmasks
the Dorset-based loan arranger whos been taking small businesses for a ride.
go near him!", says Jill Tobin.
"The man doesnt seem to
have any morals about him whatsoever."
Jill wanted to buy a small hotel
on the Isle of Wight.
Her bank had already agreed to lend her the money
she needed, but Gary Thomas, trading as Funds4Business, said he could get her
the loan at a much cheaper rate of interest.
So Jill paid Mr Thomas £350
up-front and agreed to pay him a hefty commission when her loan was finalised.
Always check out the
credentials of the loan company you're dealing with.
looking for a business loan, make sure that your broker is a member of the National
Association of Commercial Financial Brokers.
If the deal
seems too good to be true, it probably is - probe further.
sure you check out any paper work carefully and always read the small print before
you sign up.
Contact Trading Standards if you think you've
Within a few weeks, Gary Thomas called to
say that hed got Jills loan and asked her to send him a cheque for
Jill asked to see proof that the cheap loan Gary Thomas had
promised really existed, but Mr Thomas refused.
"I thought it was extremely odd to be asked to pay such an enormous amount
of money without seeing any paperwork."
Jill refused to
send the money.
When the paperwork finally arrived, she was horrified to
discover that the interest rate on the loan arranged by Gary Thomas was so high
that it would have cost her an extra £1,500 a month more compared with the
loan shed already been offered by her bank.
Pub refurbishment loan
Barnes was not so lucky - his bank offered him a loan to help Mike refurbish his
But Gary Thomas, this time trading as Gateway Finance.co.uk, said
he could better the deal offered by Mikes bank.
So Mike paid him
the rough end of a loan deal - publican Mike Barnes|
Gary Thomas called Mike to say that hed arranged his cheap loan and asked
for him immediately to send the commission fee of £1,687.50.
Mike sent the money.
When the loan finally arrived, Mike discovered that
Gary Thomas had arranged a loan that was £580 a month dearer than his existing
"Weve had over 40 complaints about Gary
Thomas and his various businesses, says Ivan Hancock from Dorset Trading
"Were very concerned because we know these complaints
are just the tip of the iceberg."
problem for Trading Standards is they do not know whether Gary Thomas really tries
his best to get cheap credit or whether he deliberately set-outs to mislead his
clients by promising them loans he knows he cannot deliver.
So to put Gary
Thomas to the test, a researcher from Inside Out contacted the National Association
of Commercial Financial Brokers.
He asked them to provide him with a cover
story someone who wanted to borrow £200,000 to buy a closed-down
pub but who would never be able to get a cheap loan.
out the credentials of whoever is offering you a loan|
as that would-be bar owner, our researcher telephoned Gary Thomas who is now working
as a consultant for Aktiv Finance Ltd.
And, despite telling Mr Thomas that
he had never run a pub nor had any other business experience whatsoever, Gary
Thomas still said he could get him a cheap loan.
believe it hes just telling you what you want to hear," warned
Paul Thompson from the National Association of Commercial Financial Brokers.
Out spoke to Gary Thomas - he denied that hed done anything wrong.
said that his contract with Jill Tobin gave him the right to ask for £7,300.
He also said he had no record of any transaction with Mike Barnes and has
recently stopped asking for upfront fees.
But the advice from Inside Out
is clear - if youre looking for a business loan, make sure that your broker
is a member of the National Association of Commercial Financial Brokers.
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