The board of Wyelands Bank today confirms that, subject to the repayment of a small number of remaining deposits, it has successfully completed the repayment of depositor funds as part of a solvent wind down of its balance sheet.
In March 2020, deterioration in the Bank’s lending book led the board to decide on a solvent wind down of the balance sheet. The bank kept its regulators, the PRA and the FCA, fully informed prior to and during the solvent wind down process. In March 2021, this strategy enabled Wyelands to repay its remaining £194 million of customer deposits (down from £459 million at the financial year end), under the instruction of the regulator. This has now been completed, except for £0.6 million which are either accounts subject to a probate process or legacy accounts where depositors are being traced. Funds have been set aside to repay these depositors.
Wyelands has now advised its remaining lending customers to obtain facilities from other lenders. It expects this refinancing to complete in the next few months and the Bank is working with these customers through the process.
In May 2020, the beneficial owner of the Bank Mr Sanjeev Gupta entered into an agreement to support the Bank via a loan (which is subordinated to all other creditors) to enable the execution of the solvent wind down strategy, providing £75.0 million, of which £42.9 million has been converted into equity.
The shareholder has now indicated that he will not be providing further funds to finance a new strategy for the Bank. Following several enquiries from independent third parties the Board has authorised CEO Stephen Rose to engage with potential new investors to assess the potential to take Wyelands forward under new ownership. This process, which would take place after customer loans have substantially been refinanced, may or may not lead to a sale of the Bank or its operational assets. Any sale to investors would be subject to approval by the Banks regulators. In the absence of a sale to new investors, the board expects that the Bank will be wound up on a solvent basis.
Wyelands will also today be filing its accounts for the year to 30 April 2020 at Companies House. The accounts will show a group loss before tax on ordinary operations of £63.0 million after the Bank booked £61.3 million of loan impairments. The accounts will be available on the Wyelands Bank website www.wyelandsbank.co.uk.
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