Thursday, 9 November 2017
Department of Finance
47. To ask the Minister for Finance the status of the proceedings of the liquidation of a company (details supplied); the number of persons affected by same; the amount owed to them; the funds available for distribution at the time of the liquidation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47397/17]
48. To ask the Minister for Finance the number of persons who have been paid in full out of the total number of persons affected by the liquidation of a company (details supplied); the number who have been paid partially; the number who have not been paid at all; the amount that has been paid out to persons as part of the liquidation; when he expects the liquidation to be complete; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47398/17]
49. To ask the Minister for Finance the cost to date of professional and liquidation fees from the liquidation of a company (details supplied); the cost he expects from the liquidation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47399/17]
50. To ask the Minister for Finance if the Central Bank has a role in the liquidation of a company (details supplied); if it has been consulted since the liquidation has commenced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47400/17]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 47 to 50, inclusive, together.
I am informed by the Central Bank that it has been actively engaged with Custom House Capital Limited (Custom House Capital) since 2009, which led to a series of restrictions being imposed on the firm. In July 2011, on instruction from the Central Bank, Custom House Capital was prevented from carrying out any transactions or making payments to any clients in order to protect the interests of all clients, and prevent any further effect on client investments, until the impact of the issues involved was established.
On 15 July 2011 the Central Bank sought the appointment of High Court Inspectors to conduct an investigation into the affairs of the firm and assess its financial position, as there were significant concerns about the firm's operations following the identification of new and previously unknown issues.
Following a detailed investigation, Central Bank High Court Inspectors published a report identifying a range of significant, serious and previously unknown issues, which threatened client interests and made the firm unviable. This report also recommended the appointment of a liquidator to Custom House Capital as the most appropriate action.
On 21 October 2011 the High Court appointed Mr Kieran Wallace, Chartered Accountant, of KPMG, as Official Liquidator to Custom House Capital. The Official Liquidator was also appointed as the administrator of Custom House Capital for the purposes of and pursuant to Section 33A of the Investor Compensation Act 1998.
The Official Liquidator was appointed by and is accountable to the Court for the conduct and completion of the liquidation of Custom House Capital.
The process of establishing legitimate ownership of all investments involves a significant and lengthy reconciliation of client holdings that will take time to fully complete.
The Official Liquidator continues to undertake reconciliation work on client holdings within Custom House Capital and this can be broadly categorised as occurring in the following order:
- Segregated cash and equities
- Other investments, property funds, equity and cash funds, bonds and other funds
- Segregated property investments (individually owned)
- Syndicated property investments via SPVs (mainly European properties)
- Syndicated property investments via Exempt Unit Trusts (mainly UK properties)
It should be noted that any client wishing to clarify individual investments/holdings will need to contact the Official Liquidator’s office directly for information.
The Official Liquidator’s work is overseen by the Examiner's Court and this includes reviewing the costs and progress of the Liquidation of Custom House Capital.
The Central Bank has, and continues to be, committed to working with all relevant statutory bodies in supporting them in the exercise of their powers in relation to the activities of Custom House Capital and the individuals concerned. Referrals have been made to the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation, the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement, Director of Public Prosecutions, the Revenue Commissioners and the Department of Justice and Equality. The Central Bank continues to work with these bodies.