David Gary Drysdale of Welcome Loans Limited has been disqualified for nine years after failing to provide accurate company accounts and benefitting himself ahead of customers and HMRC.
He repeatedly failed to assist an insolvency practitioner and the Insolvency Service during investigations after the company went into liquidation in July 2013. Welcome Loans acted between customers and lenders to arrange loans, charging upfront fees.
It was discovered HMRC was owed over £287,000 in taxes while Mr Drysdale took over £683,000 for himself over several years. He also deliberately prolonged investigations so he could try to release company money held in an offshore bank account for personal use. The amount of £271,544 was very difficult for the insolvency practitioner to retrieve, leading to further problems.
Prior to the liquidation, there had been hundreds of complaints from customers about unfair charging and high fees which led to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) issuing a warning. He failed to address customer complaints and provide refunds (even though he assured the FOS he would), and instead paid himself around £10,000 a week and bought a new Bentley!
Mark Bruce from the Insolvency Service commented, “Mr Drysdale has shown himself to be exactly the type of businessman who should be removed from the business area. His cavalier attitude to his customers and the various regulatory bodies he faced was seen as extremely serious by the court in handing down a lengthy disqualification.”