The Abuse of Bounce Back Loans - Dr John Tribe invited as parliament witness

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Dr John Tribe appearing as a witness in parliament (via video call) on 6 July 2021
Dr John Tribe appearing on Parliament TV, Tuesday 6 July 2021.

Dr John Tribe, Senior Lecturer in Law and member of the Charity Law & Policy Unit, has given evidence to the House of Commons Public Bills Committee on the Rating (Coronavirus) and Directors Disqualification (Dissolved Companies) Bill.

On the morning of Tuesday 6 July 2021, Dr John Tribe appeared as an invited witness in parliament to share his expert knowledge on bounce back loans and the potential abuse of the government's Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) which was designed to enable smaller businesses to access finance more quickly during the coronavirus outbreak.

Parliament boardroom with ministers, a 'U' shaped desk and green chairs

Parliament Live TV still from the morning meeting.

In his introductory statement, John Tribe welcomed and supported the changes which the Bill introduces to the Company Directors' Disqualification Act 1986 and the extension of the public protection provisions in that Act to "unfit" directors of dissolved companies.

"These measures are a welcome addition to the insolvency framework, an insolvency system that works effectively and which is well managed by the Insolvency Service and their diligent, hard-working staff. This new statuary addition to their armoury is a necessary power to maintain public confidence, to protect the public from 'unfit' directors, and to maintain the integrity of the limited liability company form."


Minister for BEIS, Paul Scully

Minister Paul Scully speaking to Dr John Tribe in the meeting.


John Tribe's observations on the Bill came under five main areas:

  1. Limited Liability & Corporate Form Abuse
  2. Phoenixism
  3. Directors' Disqualification & Public Protection
  4. Dissolution Statistics
  5. Funding

He spoke briefly on each of these and then answered ministers' questions.

You can watch the recorded discussion via Parliament Live TV (John is the third witness and appears at 10 minutes 33 seconds which is selectable on the right-hand index tab).


Dr John Tribe profile picture

John Tribe has been been researching and writing about insolvency law - both corporate and personal - for 20 years, and is interested in the role and accountability of office-holders including company directors. He has been the editor of the Mithani Directors' Disqualification loose-leaf newsletter and continues to sit on the board of that authoritative publication. More recently he has written about the disqualification proceddings in Kids' Company and Carillion.