UK Bank Walled Up By Angry Businessman
Asking a British bank for credit can be like talking to a brick wall. One business owner has become so frustrated that he's built his own wall - across a bank's front door.
Cameron Hope went into the seaside town of Bournemouth, Dorset yesterday afternoon and with the help of some friends, bricked up the door to the local Barclays Bank.
He told the BBC that he'd planned to shut the way into the NatWest branch but was thwarted by a heavy police presence. "The police were everywhere so we couldn't do it."
No, the forces of the law hadn't been tipped off about Mr Hope's plan. They were dealing with an entirely unrelated matter. But it was enough to force a switch to a new target - Barclays.
Mr Hope has "nothing against Barclays at all," but like so many other small business owners, he's angry with the entire banking sector because they're making it so hard for firms to access credit.
Loans and overdrafts are at the heart of small business banking, but tighter controls are making them harder to get hold of.
Only last week the Bank of England reported that lending to small firms had fallen again, for the fifth month in a row. According to the Mail Online, in the year to July 2010, businesses paid back 47 billion pounds more than they borrowed.
Unfortunately , Mr Hope's wall only stood for a couple of hours before he was forced to take it down. It seems likely that the wall of refusal from UK banks will remain in place for some time longer.