In forced liquidation, the fintech Aigis Bank, involved in the crash of Greensill




The Minister of the Economy and Finance, on a proposal from the Bank of Italy, ordered, on Saturday 22 May, the forced administrative liquidation of Aigis Banca spa, the fintech credit institution born from the transformation process of GBM Bank , which began at the end of January 2017, after the bank had emerged from an extraordinary administration, following its acquisition by Metric Capital Partners. The liquidation bodies appointed by the Bank of Italy are Francesco De Santis, as liquidator, and Andrea Di Cesare, Maria Rita Schiera and Alessandro Zanotti, as members of the supervisory committee.

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The new look of GBM BanK and the new name were presented to the press only a few months ago, last December 2020

The mission of Aigis Bank was to offer synthesis services between fintech and banking, supported by the use of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, in order to ensure rapid response times to entrepreneurs wishing to seek financing and factoring. Aigis Bank has also collected savings from consumers via deposit accounts and current accounts remunerated at the rate of 0.5% and without fees (if the minimum balance is $ 3670 (€ 3000) and utilities / salary / pension are credited to the account).

But Aigis Bank’s mistake was to significantly develop its activity in Germany (it had announced last December that it had 15,000 customers, including 10,000 in Germany) and to gain exposure to Greensill Bank AG, the subsidiary German company from London. based in Greensill Capital, founded in 2011 by Australian Lex Greensill, former banker of Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, until recently a unicorn scale-up, among the leading reverse factoring operators globally.

Last March, Greensill Capital filed for insolvency over non-renewal of insurance guarantees on $ 4.6 billion in Bond and Credit Company (Tokyo Marine) loans, opening a pandora’s box that sparked an uproar at Credit Suisse, whose funds have bought billions of dollars. dollars in corporate loans securitized by Greensill, and this will translate into a heavy write-off for Greensill’s main investors, namely General Atlantic and Softbank’s Vision Fund. Shortly after, the German subsidiary filed for insolvency, with a contagion effect that spread to various banks, including Aigis Bank, which did not yet have the broad shoulders to absorb the blow.

In order to protect the rights of depositors and clients of Aigis Bank, the liquidator proceeded, from Sunday 23 May, to the transfer of the assets and liabilities of the company to Ifis Bank, which resumed without interruption the relations of the transferor with his clients. Customers and depositors are therefore not affected by this changeover: the bank’s offices, branches and telematics channels are operating normally; all banking transactions can be carried out and are not interrupted.

The intervention plan was implemented with the support of the Interbank Deposit Protection Fund (FITD). The price paid by Ifis Banque, at the symbolic price of one euro, associated with the intervention of the FITD, for a total amount of 59.8 million dollars (48.8 million euros), and the terms of the contract guarantee the absence of material impact on Ifis Capital ratios (CET1), asset quality and the Bank Group’s income statement.

Frederik Geertman, CEO of Ifis Bank, explains: “The intervention of Ifis Bank avoids the serious social and economic consequences caused by the situation created at Aigis Banca, due to the latter’s exposure to Greensill Bank. AG, which has been in insolvency proceedings since March 2021. The intervention of Ifis Bank will be done by protecting the savings of individual customers, by guaranteeing the continuity of loans to companies and by preserving the employment of people who are working there. Aigis Banca focuses on lending to small and medium-sized businesses and raises funds through current accounts and interest-bearing deposit accounts. The similarity with the activities of Ifis Bank will allow us to efficiently manage the integration process ”.

The scope to be acquired by Ifis Banque mainly concerns loans to small and medium-sized enterprises for medium / long-term financing assisted by MCC guarantees and factoring of $ 365 million (€ 298 million), government securities and Cdp 165, $ 4m (€ 135m), deposits, including those of retail customers $ 539m (€ 440m), as well as associated staff in offices in Milan, Rome and Bari.

The following are excluded from the scope of acquisition: securities linked to Greensill Bank AG in the event of insolvency, tax assets, the subordinated bond issued by Aigis Banca, as well as certain other legal relationships deemed non-functional to the transaction.

The assets included in the business unit to be acquired represent approximately 5% of the total assets of the
Ifis Banque Group as of March 31, 2021, for the corresponding RWAs of around (€ 100 million).

The history of Aigis Bank is rather troubled

Prior to its acquisition by Metric Capital, Gruppo Bancario Mediterraneo (GBM) was a regional commercial bank historically focused on traditional lending to local small and medium-sized businesses, which had gone into receivership in October 2015, after an investment of around $ 49 million. dollars (40 million euros) to acquire the former Banca Federiciana in Andria, Puglia, which was followed by a period of continued losses and erosion of capital, until the Banca d’Italia establish its sequestration and search for investors to take it over and thus avoid the constraint of liquidation of the establishment.

In January 2017, MCP Private Capital Fund II, through its subsidiary MCP Investment II sarl, managed by Metric Capital Partners, had taken over 75.36% of the bank’s capital in partnership with Nicola Bonito Oliva (former manager of Dresdner Bank Italia) and Filippo Cortesi (one of the first managers of Banca Sistema), at the head of Wave Securities, arranger of the transaction, which had, in turn, invested 21.43% via their November UK Ltd. The purchase price was 7 million euros and at the same time the bank was recapitalized for 24.5 million dollars (20 million euros), with the aim of strategically repositioning it as a new lending institution generation. Hence the new name of Aigis Bank.

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First published in Be Beez, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.

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