FirstFT: Credit Suisse used suspicious invoices for Greensill loan

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Credit Suisse provided an emergency $140mn loan to Greensill Capital based partly on invoices to companies who deny ever doing the business stated on the documents.

The Swiss bank provided the loan in October 2020, less than five months before the collapse of Greensill, a supply chain finance firm that counted former UK prime minister David Cameron as a senior adviser.

Invoices issued by metals magnate Sanjeev Gupta’s Liberty Commodities and sold to Greensill formed part of the collateral for the loan, according to documents seen by the Financial Times and people familiar with the transaction. Yet several of the parties named on the invoices have told the FT they did no business with Liberty.

The apparent failure to spot that suspicious invoices were pledged as collateral casts fresh light on risk management failures at Credit Suisse.

It also raises new questions over the practices at Greensill and Liberty. The commodities company is part of Gupta’s GFG Alliance, which is being probed by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office and French police over suspected fraud and money laundering. GFG has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

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