Lloyds and PwC face £55m court case from motor dealer who says the firms forced it out of business

 
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Lloyds Bank faces legal action over the collapse of Premier Motor Auctions (Source: Getty)

Lloyds Banking Group and accountants PwC face a £55m legal battle with a motor dealership which will allege they colluded to force it out of business.

Yorkshire-based Premier Motor Auctions will argue Lloyds used its Business Support Unit as a profit centre to extract money from struggling firms, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

Premier, led by chief executive Keith Elliott, went bust following a failed sale of the business in April 2008. The firm will allege it was the victim of a plan to push bank staff to increase profits as the financial crisis hit.

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Lloyds and PwC will dispute the claims, and the bank strongly refuted any comparison between its activities and the actions of the disgraced global restructuring group at Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS GRG), which has faced censure from across business and politics for its treatment of small businesses.

In a statement, Lloyds said: “The Business Support Unit is not a profit centre and its objective is to restore customers to financial health."

The bank said its "approach is fundamentally different" to that found at GRG by the Tomlinson report. It said the case had been "reviewed extensively over a number of years at the most senior levels within the bank" as well as third parties, with "no evidence of any wrong doing" identified thus far.

A PwC spokesperson said: "The liquidator's case is misconceived and we we will be vigorously defending the claim. PwC discharged its statutory duties to creditors and acted properly throughout."

Lawyers for the claimant did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.

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