Lending appeals

As part of our ongoing commitment to supporting Scottish business, we’re working with the British Bankers' Association to find ways that the industry can improve customer relationships. Under this initiative you have the right to appeal if your application for borrowing is declined or if you are unhappy with lending conditions.

Making an appeal

Making an appeal

Making an appeal

Step 1 - Let your usual point of contact know

If your application for lending is declined, and you feel we haven't processed your application correctly, please contact your Relationship Manager or your usual point of contact to tell them that you want to appeal the decline decision. This needs to be done within 30 calendar days of the date of your decline letter.

You also have the right to appeal if you are unhappy with the conditions relating to agreed lending (such as the need to provide security, regular financial trading information or up to date property valuations). Appeals can only be submitted before you draw down on the credit facility. You cannot appeal the proposed costs of agreed lending, such as interest rates, fees and costs or the standard terms and conditions and you cannot appeal after funds have been drawn down.

Alternatively you can complete an Online Appeal form by clicking here.

Step 2 – Acknowledgement

We'll write to you to confirm your appeal has been received and what you can expect to happen next.

Step 3 - Appeal outcome

Your appeal will be reviewed by our lending appeals team. This team is not involved in the original lending application process.

They will take an impartial and unbiased view of the information you’ve provided in your initial application and how the decision was reached. It may be necessary to contact you to clarify queries that arise from the review, or to ask for more information.

The industry standard target is to ensure customers are contacted within 30 calendar days of receipt of the appeal to inform them of the outcome. However, we commit to resolving 90 per cent of appeals within 15 working days. If your appeal is upheld, your Relationship Manager will process your lending application. You will also receive a goodwill payment of £150 in recognition of your successful appeal.

If your appeal is not upheld, your Relationship Manager will continue to work with you to present a stronger lending application in the future and point you towards relevant support and guidance.

Frequently asked questions about the appeals process

1. What is the appeals process?

If your application for lending is declined, you have the right to appeal that decision and have the decision independently reviewed by our lending appeals team.

You also have the right to appeal conditions relating to your requested lending, but not the proposed costs of lending, such as interest rates, fees and costs or the standard terms and conditions.

For more information about the Appeals Process please see the Better Business Finance website.

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2. What products can I appeal a decision about?

Any business borrowing facility, for example: loans, overdrafts, commercial mortgages, business credit cards, invoice financing, asset finance, and trade finance.

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3. Under what circumstances can I appeal?

You can appeal following any formally declined lending decision. An application is considered formal when all relevant information that enables a decision to be reached has been provided to us in line with our Finance application checklist.

You can also appeal any of the conditions relating to your requested lending, but not the proposed costs of agreed lending such as interest rates, fees and costs or our standard terms and conditions. If you submit an appeal relating to lending condition(s), this could delay how long it takes for us to put your new lending facility in place, although we aim to deal with 90 per cent of all appeals within 30 days of receipt.

Requesting an appeal does not guarantee that a decline decision will be overturned.

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4. How much time do I have to appeal a decision to decline?

If your application for lending is declined, your Relationship Manager will discuss this with you and we'll confirm this in writing. You'll have 30 days from the date of that letter to appeal our decision.

If you wish to appeal any of the conditions relating to your requested lending, you should do this before you sign the lending documentation. You cannot submit an appeal relating to specific lending conditions after you have drawn down on the lending facility.

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5. Why can't I make an appeal after 30 calendar days?

The information you provided at the time of your original application can become out of date. In this situation we recommend you speak to your Relationship Manager about a new application.

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6. What happens if my application has been through an intermediary?

An appeal can be made by either you or your intermediary.

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7. If my lending application is accepted but I do not like the price, can I appeal?

If your lending application has been accepted but you do not like the price of the offer, this needs to be discussed with your Relationship Manager. If you are still unhappy with the way we have dealt with your enquiry, you have the right to pursue a formal complaint. Find out more about our complaints procedure.

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8. What’s the difference between an appeal and a complaint?

An appeal is a request to review a declined decision following a formal lending application or where you are unhappy with the lending conditions associated with an offer. It’s important that all our customers are confident that if an application for lending is declined, they can have the decision independently reviewed by another experienced lender within Bank of Scotland. Any issues that are outside of the appeals process should be taken forward as a complaint through the formal complaints process. Find out more about our complaints procedure.

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9. Can I appeal if I am declined because of an Adverse Credit Rating?

If the reason for the decline is specifically due to an adverse credit history such as County Court Judgements (CCJ's) or payment defaults, then your application can be appealed. However, you may need to obtain a full copy of your credit file from a Credit Reference Agency, and be able to prove that an error has occurred or that the circumstances of the adverse information were exceptional. Credit Reference Agencies hold information that helps lenders establish individuals' credit record. You are legally entitled to see all the information held about you by any Credit Reference Agency by writing to them at Experian Limited, Customer Liaison Centre, PO Box 1135, Warrington WA55 1EP. Details of fees can be found on www.experian.co.uk or by calling 0844 481 0800.

If your circumstances have changed significantly since the time of the original application and you would like to re-apply, we would be happy to consider a new application.

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10. If I’m declined following an automated credit assessment, what are my grounds for appeal?

You can appeal if you feel that we’ve not taken into account all of your circumstances or that, following a discussion with your Relationship Manager, your application should have been approved. However, it may be necessary to contact you to clarify any queries that may arise from the review or to ask for additional information. If your circumstances have changed significantly since the time of the original application and you would like to re-apply on that basis, we’d be happy to consider a new application.

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11. If my lending application is declined, will you automatically review the decision without me appealing?

We would not automatically review lending decisions. Our Relationship Managers often work with credit specialists, to ensure they have correctly assessed applications. More complex lending requests are often reviewed by more than one credit specialist to ensure that your application has been fully considered.

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12. If following an initial discussion about a lending application my Relationship Manager suggests that my application may not succeed, would I have the right to appeal?

An appeal can only be made after a decline decision, following a formal application (see "Under what circumstances can I appeal?"). Our Relationship Managers are highly skilled in assessing whether we have the right financial products to help you. They can work with you on future lending applications and if necessary, talk to you about alternative sources of finance and other support.

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13. How quickly will you inform me of the result of the appeal?

We'll send you a letter confirming we've received your appeal. The target agreed by the industry is to ensure customers' appeals are reviewed and that they are informed of the outcome within 30 calendar days of the date of this letter. However, we commit to resolve 90 per cent of appeals within 15 working days.

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14. If my appeal is successful and the original decision is overturned, what happens next?

We will write to inform you of the outcome of the appeal and if you are happy for us to proceed, your Relationship Manager will continue to process your application.

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15. If my appeal is unsuccessful, how will Bank of Scotland help me?

We will respond in writing confirming the outcome of the appeal. If your circumstances have changed significantly since the time of the original application and you would like to re-apply, we would be happy to consider a new application.

If this is not the case, we will be happy to talk to you about how we can work together to present a stronger lending proposition in the future. We're dedicated to helping UK businesses thrive throughout the economic cycle, so we want to make sure we give you the support you need to make your business stronger. Find out more about our lending support.

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16. How can I be sure that the appeals process works?

Bank of Scotland adheres fully to the standards set out by the British Bankers' Association (BBA) which are documented in ‘A guide to the Lending Code for Micro-Enterprises' and ‘Lending Principles for Larger Businesses'. We want to ensure our customers have the confidence and peace of mind that our decisions are fair and correct so we are monitored by an Independent External Reviewer.

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17. What is the role of the Independent External Reviewer?

The role of the Independent External Reviewer is to provide an independent assessment of the appeals process. The Reviewer is not in a position to review individual lending decisions or accept appeals directly from customers in the event of a complaint. Their role is to ensure banks have the correct processes to handle appeals fairly and effectively themselves. They will publish an annual report detailing how banks are performing.

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18. What role does the Lending Standards Board (LSB) have in the appeals process?

The role of the LSB is to monitor and enforce the Lending Code and to ensure participating banks provide a fair deal to their Personal and Micro-Enterprise* customers. Recent amendments have been made to the Lending Code to include the appeals process and the LSB will be reviewing the Independent Reviewer's report and recommendations carefully.

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* A Micro-Enterprise is defined as a business that employs fewer than 10 persons and has a turnover or annual balance sheet that does not exceed €2million.


Any property given as security, which may include your home, may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or other debts secured on it.

All lending is subject to a satisfactory credit assessment and we will need your permission to carry out a credit check on you and your business.

You should not apply for an amount that you cannot comfortably afford to repay now and in the future to avoid the possibility of legal action.