Travel company ceases trading

A Norfolk based travel company has ceased trading after 14 years with its boss blaming its demise on the withdrawal of bank support.

Global Travel Lounge Ltd – which has branches in Cannerby Lane in Sprowston, High Street in Gorleston and Market Street in Wymondham - is set to go into liquidation next week.

The firm, which was expected to record an annual turnover of around �2.7m at its year end in September and employed 11 staff members, ceased trading on Saturday.

Yesterday a sign posted on the door of the Sprowston branch said: 'It is with sincere regret that we inform you that Global Travel Lounge Ltd has ceased trading, due to our bank withdrawing continued support.'

But it stressed that holiday makers would not be left out of pocket as Global Travel Lounge is a member of ABTA, which was obliged to offer the customers the holidays they had booked and paid for.

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It added: 'Our sincere apologies due to this development which is out of our control.'

Managing director Peter Buckell said he was told at a meeting with his bank Lloyds TSB a week ago that travel was a 'high risk factor'.

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He said: 'I am shocked to think that they wouldn't give us an adequate overdraft which the business needed going into the autumn and winter. I have never had a default and I have never broken a bank agreement.

'The business was down on last year a bit, but not by a huge amount. Around 10pc down,' added Mr Buckell. 'The company was going to enter back into profitability. We had cut costs and we were going to move into new premises in Wymondham. We had done all the right things. A director had left to save money. It was just that the bank was not willing to support us. We increased our share capital by 30pc. We did everything.'

He said that the autumn and winter overdraft the company had asked for had been the same as last year.

An ABTA spokesman said that as the firm was an agent for other companies, people who had booked holidays would not be affected and tour operators would honour agreements under ABTA rules.

He said customers would be contacted, but if they had not heard anything within a week they should contact their tour operator.

A Lloyds Banking Group spokesperson said anyone who has been affected should contact ABTA on 0300 303 1522.

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