Icelandic bank crisis company declared bankrupt

The private company Exeter Holdings has been declared bankrupt. The company has been at the centre of a loans scandal.

No assets were recovered from the company’s estate, but it has debts of around ISK 1.6 billion (EUR 9.74 million).

Exeter Holdings took a loan for ISK 1.4 billion which was granted at a board meeting of BYR savings bank on the 19th December 2008. The loan was used to buy founders capital shares in BYR and the only insurance on the loan from BYR was the shares themselves. The shares became worthless with the fall of BYR.

DV reports that the owner of Exeter Holdings and its CEO at the time of the loan was Agust Sindri Karlsson, a former board member at MP Bank and one of the bank’s founders.

Exeter Holdings has been regularly featured in the media since the financial crash, as the company was used to buy founders capital shares in BYR from BYR board members; including the chairman, Jon Thorsteinn Jonsson’s and Birgir Omar Haraldsson’s shares; as well as shares which MP Bank had taken on as a capital call from BYR employees. Exeter bought the shares at a premium.

The Icelandic financial regulator, FME, sent the case of the BYR loan to Exeter to the special prosecutor into the banking crisis in October 2009.

Jon Thorsteinn Jonsson, the former BYR chairman; Ragnar Z. Gudjonsson, former BYR president and Styrmir Thor Bragason, former president of MP Bank have all recently been cleared of embezzlement charges at the Reykjavik District Court and deny all wrongdoing. The case has been appealed to the Supreme Court of Iceland.

A different recent story in DV about BYR’s 2009 loan portfolio says that Exeter Holdings had found itself in trouble over a ISK 1.1 billion loan and that ISK 847 million of that amount was written off by the bank in 2009.

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