Insolvent FX brokerage LQD Markets: CEO Nick Bang refuses to meet administrators, money missing from Cyprus
Just over a year and a half has passed since LQD Markets fell victim to the Swiss National Bank’s removal of the 1.20 peg on the EURCHF pair, however evidence has now been presented by the administrators that CEO Nick Bang is evading meetings despite special attempts, and client funds are missing from the firm’s records
In January 2015, Cyprus-based retail FX brokerage LQD Markets was one of the casualties of the Swiss National Bank’s decision to remove the 1.20 peg on the EURCHF pairs, having been exposed to negative client balances and declaring insolvency as a result.
Since then, Joint Special Administrators Matthew Hall, Graham Bushby and Matthew Wild of RSM Restructing have been appointed to manage the insolvency of the firm and to liquidate sufficient funds to repay creditors, some of which are retail customers whose funds had been locked as a result of the insolvency.
As of August 24 this year, client funds to the Sterling equivalent value of £1,416,441.63 had been transferred to the Special Administrators’ accounts. This represents a total which was in several denominations including US dollar, British pound, Swiss franc, Hungarian forint, Euro, Japanese yen and Polish zloty.
Following the report by the Joint Special Administrators last month, a further development has become apparent.
The Administrators are continuing in their efforts to assist the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in Britain, however two key components are now missing from the company, namely its CEO, and the remainder of client capital.
An investigation into the deficit of client monies has been opened with regard to a transfer of business assets that took place from LQD Markets Ltd in Cyprus to the company, including bank statements and reconcilliations of the company’s records against prime brokerage and other parties.
As a result, RSM Restructuring has retained law firm Nabarro LLP to advise on possible actions and cliams that can be broight against certain parties should it be deemed appropriate.
Following the investigations by RSM Restructuring, a meeting was scheduled between LQD Markets CEO Nick Bang, along with Mssrs Gaurier, Eid and Chamat, the management team of LQD Markets, in which all three executives were asked to attend the offices in the UK of RSM Restructuring, all of whom declined to travel, citing, rather bizzarrely, terrorist activity in the UK as a reason not to travel.
Therefore, RSM Restructuring rearranged the interviews to take place in Geneva over the course of February 4 and 5, 2016.
Mr. Bang declined to attend the interview, and Mssrs. Gaurier and Chamat did so with legal representation.
Due to Mr. Bang having not attended either the requested meeting in London or the requested meeting in Switzerland, his responsibility as CEO of the firm, with the Joint Administrator to answer specific questions, RSM Restructuring instructed law firm Nabarro LLP to obtain Swiss legal advice on how to obtain documentation from Mr. Bang and information with regard to the client money reconciliation.
On July 25 this year, RSM Restructuring received the legal advice from Switzerland via the law firm, and has primary concerns that any costs incurred in attempting to arrange and conduct an interview with Mr Bang could end up being disproportionate to the further information obtainable , therefore is considering other methods.
FinanceFeeds spoke to former LQD Markets clients close to the matter who had received notification from RSM Restructuring explaining that Mr. Bang had been avoiding meetings with the Administrators and that capital appears to be missing.
“The amounts have disapperared in Cyprus, having not been transferred from the Cypriot entity as it should have been. Customers saw false amounts on the platform thinking that the amounts were transferred. Instead of 880,000 EUR only 30,000 EUR is in my account but I saw 880,000 EUR on the last day. Cypriot entity did not transfer my money. Mr. Bang does not answer the questions, does not want to meet anybody and does not give access for the server in Cyprus. CySec and RPM began legal investigations along with another big legal firm in Cyprus” he explained.
Indeed the report sent to this particular client by RPM Restructuring states a situation to this effect, and the investigations are ongoing with the case remaining outstanding with no conclusion having been reached, and, according to RSM Restructuring, no word from Mr Bang thus far.