Robert James Smith and Emily Victoria Smith, former directors of Chance DAB Limited (Chance), a digital radio station in Great Dunmow, have been banned from being directors for a total of 22 years, for providing false information to secure a loan.

The disqualifications, which started on 22 August 2013 follow an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

Mr Smith (34) and his wife, Mrs Smith (29) gave undertakings to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills not to act as directors or in any way manage or control limited companies for 11 years each until September 2024.

The investigation showed that Chance, which went into liquidation on 28 April 2011, applied for a loan in November 2010 from a financial institution supposedly to buy equipment. However, the funds were diverted to pay for overhead expenses. In January 2011, the company applied for a second loan from the same financial and this time stated it was to provide working capital. Again, the loan was provided.

On or around 31 January 2011, the company ceased to trade and no sales had been generated. No repayments on the loans were ever made by the company and at liquidation, it owed at least 106,248 to the financial institutions and at least 20 other creditors.

Commenting on the disqualifications, Sue MacLeod, Head of Insolvent Investigations in Birmingham, part of the Insolvency Service, said:

Directors who seek to obtain finance from financial institutions, by providing false information show a total disregard for the finance provider and the business community generally.
These disqualification undertakings send a clear message to other company directors that if they run a business in a way that is detrimental to either its lenders or its creditors, they will be investigated by the Insolvency Service and removed from the business environment for a long time.