Bank part-owned by Liberty Steel tycoon faces being wound up

Business

Wyelands Bank, majority-owned by steel tycoon Sanjeev Gupta, faces being wound up if it fails to find a buyer after he refused to support a call for new investment.

The bank, which was ordered by the Bank of England two months ago to repay customer deposits amid fears over Wyelands’ financial position, said it was now seeking new investors in an effort to preserve its future.

The board said that it expected the bank to be “wound up on a solvent basis” if it failed.

Mr Gupta, whose business empire was closely linked to collapsed financing company Greensill Capital, gave the loss-making bank a loan of £75m in May last year.

The Liberty Steel flag flies over the steel plant in Dalzell, Scotland (file pic)
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Liberty Steel employs 3,000 people directly and supports 2,000 more in the supply chain

No reason was given for Mr Gupta’s decision not to further his investment on Thursday.

Greensill’s demise earlier this year left Mr Gupta with a funding crisis, placing the future for Liberty Steel and its 3,000 jobs in doubt though the businessman has assured staff that there is no immediate risk as new funding avenues are sought.

The fallout from Greensill’s collapse also sparked a separate lobbying row which has engulfed former PM David Cameron – a paid adviser for Greensill – who was forced to defend his actions on Thursday to two committees of MPs.

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Wyelands said its chief executive was leading the search for new investment after Mr Gupta’s decision not to offer new investment.

It added that it had almost completed the process of repaying customer deposits and remaining borrowers have been told they will need to find new financing facilities from other lenders in future.

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