Brief Banking Bites – January 2021

12th January 2021

Welcome to the January edition of Brief Banking Bites and a 2020 round up. As we enter the New Year, we take a look back over the past 12 months and provide insight and advice on matters within Banking and Finance.

In this edition we start with the discontinuation of LIBOR and the transition to SONIA, before discussing our Brexit Virtual Conference that was held in November 2020. We provide some Top Tips and discuss Hot Topics from our Q&As over the past 12 months, cover the Business Banking Resolution Service and take a look at the decision of the High Court in the case of Pathway Finance Sàrl v London Hanger Lane Centre Ltd from May 2020.

We have also provided commentary and updates on the support measures available for businesses impacted by COVID-19 with an update on CBILS, and include several articles on how the pandemic affects loan agreements. For more information, please see our COVID-19 Hub for more articles and information from various other practice areas at Blake Morgan. We finish with an introduction to some new members of the team, and some of our colleagues from other supporting teams, and our achievements of 2020.

LIBOR to SONIA Transition

As you will be aware the Finance Industry is gearing up for the discontinuation of LIBOR at the end of 2021 and the transition to the Sterling Overnight Index Average (SONIA) as the standard benchmark for determining interest rates on Lending transactions. Although this may seem a long way off, a huge amount of work is being done by the industry to prepare for the transition, and it’s important that businesses start thinking now about how the change could affect them.

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Brexit Virtual Conference

‘There is still much to do to get ready for Brexit’ was the key message coming out of a virtual conference held for UK business leaders by leading law firm Blake Morgan LLP in November 2020.

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Go to our Brexit Hub to read more articles and to view recordings of the conference webinars.

Top tips!

Read our top tips on:

  • When registering security documents at the Land Registry and at Companies House, make sure your and your clients’ confidential information and personal data is protected.

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  • Late entering into a security document? Here’s what to do.

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  • Chattel Mortgages. We explain them here.

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Hot topics Q&A

Please see our banking hot topics Q&A articles of May 2020 written by Kath Shimmin and Danielle Collett-Bruce. The articles look at live queries received from clients and contacts including matters such as electronically signing and witnessing documents and the consequences of anticipated breaches of Financial Covenants due to coronavirus:

Please note the updated guidance relating to the form of signatures accepted by the Land Registry in this current BBB.

Business Banking Resolution Service (BBRS)

In May, a report by the Business Banking Resolution Service (BBRS), a non-profit organisation set up to resolve disputes between eligible small and medium-sized businesses and participating banks, detailed its interim findings from the trials of the scheme which promotes a human and flexible approach in unresolved disputes between SMEs and their banks, as an alternative to the stress and cost of seeking to resolve complaints through the court.

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High Court construes registered security document to correct an obvious mistake

Pathway Finance Sàrl v London Hanger Lane Centre Ltd [2020] EWHC 1191 (Ch) (15 May 2020)

Background: A large number of deeds of accession to a security agreement, all in the same form, cross-referred to the security agreement giving it the security agreement the  wrong date. All the deeds of accession had been registered at Companies House. The beneficiary of the deeds applied for a declaration that they should be construed as containing the correct date for the security agreement.

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Update on the extension of CBILS

Government announce extensions to Coronavirus support for businesses

The Government has announced that the deadline for making an application for one of the four state-backed loan schemes has been extended.

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COVID-19 and Loan Agreements

Please see our articles of 23 April 2020 written by Jake Holmes regarding the impact of COVID-19 on Loan Agreements:

And our article of 30 March 2020 on amending facility agreements:

COVID-19 is posing a significant challenge to many businesses in the UK.

Please access our COVID-19 hub for up to date information on key issues and insights from our experts.

Meet the Team

Meet our colleagues from the Insolvency, Property and Corporate teams who assist us when we need guidance on other areas of law and the new members of the Banking & Finance team.

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Directory Listings

This year the Banking & Finance team are very proud to announce our rankings.

In the Legal 500 Directory we have been recognised as a Tier 1 practice in the South East.

Chambers, ranked us in Band 1 in the South, and Band 2 nationally.

Thanks to all our colleagues and clients who kindly gave references.

Final note

Wishing you a happy, safe and prosperous New Year! We look forward to working with you in 2021.

If you have any questions or need to contact us, our key contacts in each office are:

Kath Shimmin (Southampton)

Meera Jansen (London)

Paul Duggan (Cardiff)

Rebecca McCabe-North (Reading)

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