A top businessman delivered a stinging tirade against unhelpful banks after scooping a host of accolades at the 2012 Merton Business Awards.

Terry Withers, managing director of Admiral Scaffolding Group, made the salvo at the swanky ceremony, held at Wimbledon's All England Lawn Tennis Club on Wednesday, September 26.

After accepting the Business of the Year award, Mr Withers said: “Banks talk the talk but they don't walk the walk.

“We have to fight these banks and if we don't we won't have a business and we won’t have a future.

“You should argue with your bank manager. Fight with your bank manager. It's as simple as that. Or is it?”

The firm, based in Weir Road, Wimbledon, also won Best Green Business and Best Business for Training and Development.

The third annual Merton Business Awards attracted more than 180 entries and were organised by South London Business in association with WSM Advisors to showcase the best businesses in the borough.

Referring to the economic climate, the chairman of South London Business, Sir Bob Scott, said: “This is an event to give hope that there must be some green shoots appearing. In fact you represent green plants that are flourishing.”

Leader of Merton Council, Councillor Stephen Alambritis, told the audience: “You people are the entrepreneurs, the risk-takers.

“The council’s vision is for the borough not to be a dormitory but rather to be somewhere for people to live and work, and to have successful businesses, like yourselves.”

Nominations for the 11 categories were invited from the companies themselves, customers and the public and those shortlisted attended the ceremony.


  • Business of the Year: Admiral Scaffolding Group Ltd
  • Best Small Business: TechQuarters Ltd
  • Best Medium Sized Business: Elliot Wood Partnership
  • Best Business for Customer Service: Gina Conway Aveda Salon and Spa
  • Commitment to the Community: STEM4
  • Best Green Business: Admiral Scaffolding Group Ltd
  • Best Business for Hospitality and Leisure: Wimbledon Village Stables
  • Best Business for Training and Development: Admiral Scaffolding Group Ltd
  • Entrepreneur of the Year: Sylvia Anderson of Anderson Food Hygiene Ltd
  • Merton’s Favourite Business: Paul Strank Roofing Ltd
  • Best New Business: Mum2Mum Market
  • Best Independent Retailer: MayByLand Ltd

Sponsors of Merton Business Awards were WSM Advisors Ltd, (tax, accounting and advisory firm) Merton Council; Merton Chamber of Commerce; Morrisons Solicitors; Veolia Environmental Services; The Wimbledon Guardian: South Thames College and CDG Careers Development Group.