Bank gives CSD deal to cut debt

The Chartered Society of Designers has done a deal with its bank to write off about half of the 700 000 it owes over the next seven years.

The deal, struck by the CSD Management Committee with NatWest, depends on the achievement of management and financial goals set down by the society to the satisfaction of its advisor BDO Stoy Hayward.

According to CSD honorary treasurer Bob Searles, the bank agreed the performance-related write-off in principle last Thursday. Around 350 000 will be set aside from the CSD’s debt to the bank as a non-performing loan. No interest will be due on this for seven years, and it will be written off if the CSD achieves its goals.

The other half of the debt will be converted into what Searles calls a “mortgage-style loan”, payment arrangements for which are yet to be finalised.

The arrangement, due to be announced at last night’s AGM, supersedes previous deals with the bank, such as repayment of its debt at 50 000 a year. This payment was waived for January 1997. The CSD’s 1996 figures reveal a surplus of only 20 000. The long-standing debt now totals 950 000.

The goals relate to a strategic plan due to be announced last night by president elect Adrianne LeMan. Features include cutting costs; promoting the CSD more widely to the design community, business and Government; and raising professional standards.

LeMan’s own position following the resignation of CSD president Nick Jenkins earlier this month remained unresolved as Design Week went to press. She says the lawyers are looking at the constitution, but she is fairly sure she will become the next president. If this is so, there will be a full election for a president elect, she says.

The situation with CSD director Brian Lymbery is also unclear. Lymbery, off sick for a couple of months, has said he is looking to negotiate a pension. LeMan says she cannot comment as it is up to Lymbery to express his intentions to the CSD. Under current arrangements he is entitled to three months’ paid sick leave before coming under the CSD’s private health insurance deal.

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