Vincent Tchenguiz settles with Kaupthing Bank

The British businessman Vincent Tchenguiz, who was closely linked with the Icelandic bank Kaupthing, has struck a deal with the defunct bank’s resolution committee. He will now stop his pursuit of damages against the bank.

A statement from Vincent Tchenguiz says that the agreement is a positive development for all parties involved.

The statement says that funds owned by the Tchenguiz family and his investment firm, Euro Group, have all reached agreements with Kaupthing in both Britain and Iceland. Tchenguiz estimated his claim on the estate of Kaupthing at GBP 1.5 billion (ISK 276 billion) and he had begun legal proceedings against Kaupthing in British and Icelandic courts.

Earlier this year it was reported that the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) was investigating Kaupthing’s lending practices; and especially the ones to Vincent Tchenguiz and his brother Robert. They were both questioned by the SFO in March.

Vincent was interrogated because when the bank got into trouble and called in Robert’s debt, Vincent liquidated assets in order to prop up his brother.

According to Morgunbladid sources, the SFO investigation focused largely on the seemingly limitless access Robert Tchenguiz seemed to have to Kaupthing loan capital. When other banks started calling in Robert’s debt at the end of 2007 and in 2008, Kaupthing stepped in to fill the gap; providing their biggest customer with more funds. All loans to Robert Tchenguiz were granted through Kaupthing HQ in Iceland, and not in London, as would have been normal for British customers. Robert’s close dealings with the bank began with the London-based Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander in 2004.

A statement from Kaupthing administrators this week says that all legal cases against the bank by the Tchenguiz Family Trust have now been stopped following the agreement between all parties. Despite this, the contract is only directly related to Vincent Tchenguiz, and not his brother Robert.

Kaupthing has rejected Vincent Tchenguiz’s claim for money from the bankruptcy estate all along.

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