Bremer Greensill Bank has lured savers with high interest rates.
But now the institute is threatened with over-indebtedness.
The financial regulator Bafin pulls the plug.
Bremen - The financial regulator Bafin closes the Greensill Bank AG in Bremen because of the threat of over-indebtedness.
The subsidiary of the British-Australian financial conglomerate Greensill will be closed to customers with immediate effect, the financial regulator announced on Wednesday.
A sale and payment ban was issued.
The moratorium is intended to secure assets.
At the same time, the supervision filed a criminal complaint against the institute, as a spokesman for the Bremen public prosecutor said on request.
Neither he nor the Bafin gave details.
During a special audit, the supervisory authority stated that the Bremen institute was not in a position to “provide evidence of the existence of accounts receivable that it had purchased from the GFG Alliance Group.” The authority then appointed a special representative at the bank.
Bafin: Greensill poses no threat to financial stability
According to the Bafin, Greensill Bank AG has no systemic relevance.
Their plight therefore does not pose a threat to financial stability. The institute's total assets at the end of 2020 were around 4.5 billion euros.
The Bremen institute emerged from the Nordfinanz Bank.
In addition to financing for companies, it also offers overnight and fixed-term deposits and lures with unusually high interest rates.
The investments were offered by the bank itself and via interest portals on the Internet such as Weltsparen.
According to Weltsparen, it was several hundred million euros.
Greensill: Deposits up to 100,000 euros safe
Should the Bafin formally determine that Greensill Bank AG is unable to repay the deposits, savings of up to 100,000 euros per customer are protected under the statutory deposit insurance.
In addition, the people of Bremen belong to the deposit insurance of the Federal Association of German Banks (BdB).
As a rule, at least 750,000 euros per bank are protected per customer.
At many banks, however, the security limit is significantly higher, at Greensill it is up to almost 75 million euros per customer, according to BdB.
Private customers are fully protected, the deposit protection fund is well equipped, said a BdB spokesman.
Experience shows, however, that it takes a while for savers to get their money back in the event of bankruptcy.
Greensill: investors with cold feet
Bremer Privatbank is part of the Australian-British Greensill Group.
Founded in 2011 by ex-banker Lex Greensill, the group plays an important role in supply chain financing.
This involves a short-term cash advance that gives companies time to pay suppliers.
Greensill Capital pays a supplier the bill faster than the client could - and receives a discount in return.
Sufficient financial backing is required for these transactions.
According to Bafin, Bremer Greensill Bank AG sees itself as a refinancer for the group.
Greensill Capital bundled the receivables in bond-like securities and sold them to investors.
Recently, however, according to media reports, investors had doubts about what put the financial group under pressure.
The parent company Greensill Capital Pty Ltd.
is based in Australia, the subsidiary Greensill Capital Ltd is based in London.
(dpa / utz)