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Greensill Bank: Weltsparen boss Tamaz Georgadze on the consequences for German customers

2021-03-05T08:25:46.424Z

The financial supervisory authority has frozen the business of Bremer Greensill Bank by means of a moratorium. Tamaz Georgadze, head of the Weltsparen platform, on the consequences for German customers.



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Greensill Bank in Bremen: "It's too early to learn any lessons"

Photo: FABIAN BIMMER / REUTERS

The Australian-British financial group Greensill Capital got into trouble earlier this week and is looking for a buyer.

Bremer Greensill Bank is an important source of finance for the group.

It collected deposits on a large scale via platforms such as Zinspilot and Weltsparen, now it threatens to drown in the suction of the parent company.

This is why the Greensill Bank's supplier platforms are now also being criticized.

Weltsparen's business model is to provide customers with access to more than 100 banks across Europe, some of which offer slightly higher interest rates than most credit institutions on day or fixed deposit accounts.

Often these are specialist banks that do not operate traditional mass customer business and therefore do not automatically get deposits like a traditional house bank.

Weltsparen has referred around 15,000 customers to Greensill who have deposited money in fixed-term deposit accounts there.

Tamaz Georgadze, 42, who founded Weltsparen in Berlin in 2013, rejects the accusation that his platform drove customers into a risky investment.

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World saving boss Tamaz Georgadze

Photo: Vincent Isore / imago images / IP3press

SPIEGEL:

Mr. Georgadze, your customers have deposited several hundred million euros into accounts at Greensill Bank, which has now had to cease business for the time being.

Is the money in danger?

Georgadze:

No, the private customer deposits brokered via Weltsparen are subject to our level of knowledge according to the deposit protection.

SPIEGEL:

Does a platform like Weltsparen invite customers to gamble at the taxpayer's expense?

Georgadze:

We're not about gambling, we give customers access to banks all over Europe.

Overnight or fixed deposits are among the safest investments.

And the deposit insurance is fed by contributions from financial institutions.

SPIEGEL:

The asset manager GAM already had problems in 2018 because it was selling funds with rotten Greensill papers.

Have you overlooked such warning signs?

Georgadze:

That concerned a Greensill Bank sister.

However, we cannot open or close the money tap on our partner banks after the news.

SPIEGEL:

How do you check which banks get on your platform?

Georgadze:

We only work with licensed banks that are subject to banking supervision and deposit protection, and we also look at the business model and ownership structure.

But we cannot do more than financial supervisors and auditors, we have to rely on their work.

And don't forget: Japanese investor Softbank invested $ 1.5 billion in Greensill Capital in 2019.

SPIEGEL:

What lessons do you draw from the case?

Georgadze:

We don't even know whether a security case will occur at all.

It is too early to learn any lessons.

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Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2021-03-05

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