Bank slumps into administration putting more than 100 North East jobs under threat

The high street fashion chain was sold to restructuring specialists Hilco Capital less than two months ago

A BANK clothing store
A BANK clothing store

More than one hundred North East jobs are under threat as fashion retailer Bank has entered into administration, less than two months since it was sold to restructuring specialists Hilco Capital.

The high street chain, which operates stores in Newcastle, Sunderland, Metrocentre, Middlesbrough and Stockton-on-Tees, employs 112 people in the North East.

Until November the firm was part of JD Sports before it was sold to Hilco – the firm which made millions from the assets of closed retailers Woolworths and Borders.

Lancashire-headquartered Bank Fashion Limited has been loss making for some time, having posted an £8.2m pre-tax loss in the year to February 1, 2014.

Administrators from Deloitte were appointed to the firm on Monday as stores remained open and no redundancies made.

A statement from Deloitte said a review of the business determined that a solvent turnaround would not be possible.

Bill Dawson, a partner in Deloitte’s restructuring services practice, said: “Bank has struggled in a highly competitive segment of the retail industry and has been loss-making for a number of years.”

He added that additional sale discounts will be implemented later this week.

Mr Dawson added: “The company has already been approached by several parties who have expressed an

Interest in the business and the administrators are trading as a going concern with a view to progressing these options and seeking further interested parties for some or all of the business.”

Bank was founded by Andy Scott – a former Macclesfield Town footballer – in 1994 and largely sells branded fashion items aimed at the youth market.

JD bought the chain from private equity owners Phoenix Equity Partners and management for £18.5m in 2007.

In November it disposed of the business to HMV owner Hilco, a retail turnaround business, under terms which were not disclosed.

Bank Fashion Limited operates from 84 stores, primarily in the Midlands, North of England and Scotland and has 1,555 employees.

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