British investigators target Greensill customers GFG

The Greensill affair is drawing wider circles: The billionaire Sanjeev Gupta’s group of companies is being investigated in Great Britain. It is about fraudulent trading, fraud and money laundering.

Sanjeev Gupta during an interview in London in 2019.

In Great Britain, the Anti-Corruption Authority (SFO) is investigating suspected fraud against billionaire Sanjeev Gupta’s group, which was one of the largest customers of the insolvent Greensill Bank. The SFO said on Friday it was investigating suspected fraud, fraudulent trade and money laundering with a view to the financing and behavior of companies in the Gupta Family Group Alliance (GFG Alliance) – including the financial arrangements with Greensill Capital UK.

The authority did not want to provide any further information with reference to the ongoing investigations. UK GFG Alliance was one of Greensill’s largest customers, owing the company billions when it went bankrupt. Since then, GFG Alliance has been looking for new donors – even Liberty Steel’s steel mills are threatened with closure. AFP learned from negotiating circles last week that GFG Alliance is negotiating a £ 200 million loan. The government has refused to give any support.

Ex-Prime Minister Cameron takes center stage

GFG employs around 5000 people in the UK, most of them work for the steel company Liberty Steel. He also has steel mills in France and wanted to buy Thyssenkrupp’s steel division last year. Greensill, specializing in what is known as supply chain finance, lent money primarily to companies. In March the company had to file for bankruptcy in the UK. Bremer Greensill Bank was also closed by the German financial regulator. In Switzerland, Credit Suisse has been severely affected by Greensill’s bankruptcy.

In Great Britain, ex-Prime Minister David Cameron is at the center of the affair: he was an advisor to Greensill and lobbied for the company with the British government. Treasury Secretary Rishi Sunak admitted that he had “pressured” his staff to look into Cameron’s request for Greensill to receive government grants. However, the project failed.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson opened an independent investigation. Last week, Greensill’s founder and boss, Lex Greensill, testified before Parliament’s finance committee. He took “full responsibility for the collapse” of the bank. At the same time, he blamed the insurer Tokio Marine, which withdrew cover for loans to Greensill customers during the corona pandemic.