UPDATE Oct., 19th: Trustbuddy has filed for bankruptcy
An investigation initiated by the new management of TrustBuddy AB has indicated serious misconduct within the company. The Board of Directors has informed Nasdaq OMX and the Swedish FSA about the situation, and the FSA has demanded that TrustBuddy is to stop offering its services with immediate effect. As a consequence, the company’s planned rights issue is suspended. The Board of Directors will prepare a control balance sheet and are currently evaluating all available options in order to find a viable solution for all parties.
The new management team has been in place since early September, 2015. In connection with the repositioning of the business, an investigation of the business activities undertaken by the former management was initiated. The investigation is ongoing, but has so far pointed at several breaches of internal or external regulation:
- The Company has used lenders’ capital in violation of their instructions, or, without their permission. As a result, there is currently a 44M SEK (approx 4.7M EUR) discrepancy between the amount owed to lenders and the available balance of the client bank accounts.
- The total amount currently lent out on the platform is approximately 300 MSEK, of which, 37 MSEK is not assigned to lenders.
- The Company has re-assigned existing loans, a significant portion of which were likely non-performing, to new capital deployed by lenders.
The investigation indicates that these practices were likely in place since the TrustBuddy platform began operation.
Actions taken by the new management and the Board of Directors
The questionable practices mentioned above, limited to the Company’s short-term lending business, have been stopped with immediate effect.
Further, the Board of Directors informed Nasdaq OMX and the Swedish FSA about the findings. Based on the findings, the FSA demanded that TrustBuddy is to stop offering its services with immediate effect. As a consequence, the planned rights issue, scheduled to run from 14 October 2015 to 30 October 2015, is suspended.
Due to the severe breaches of the internal and/or external regulation, the Board of Directors has also decided to file a report to the Swedish Police Authority.
The Dutch subsidiary Geldvoorelkaar, which focuses on lending to small and medium-sized enterprises, has been operating on a stand-alone basis and has not been subject to misconduct. Continue reading