Maple Bank Insolvency

Creditors Want Their Billions Back

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Historical: The Maple Bank logo at its one-time headquarters in Frankfurt.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    This makes the case one of the biggest insolvencies ever in the German banking sector. It has also brought about a debate on Germany’s deposit insurance system.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Insolvency managers say there are 236 creditors asking for €3.3 billion back from the German arm of Maple Bank, after the bank was forced to close in February.
    • Maple Bank’s biggest creditor is the deposit insurance fund of the Association of German Banks, which paid out close to €2.6 billion by mid-March.
    • Frankfurt’s attorney general is investigating 11 former managers of the bank, who are suspected of serious tax evasion. It is thought that the bank cheated the tax office out of up to €450 million.
  • Audio

    Audio

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The kiosk on the street corner could be anywhere in Germany, except that it sells Moët & Chandon champagne alongside the tabloid newspaper, Bild, and Marlboro cigarettes. Here, in Frankfurt’s upmarket WestEnd neighborhood, is where the German arm of Maple Bank is based.

It’s a long time since there have been any celebrations here. The bank, which has its roots in Canada, became bankrupt after it was forced to set money aside to pay back taxes, a move which would have increased its debt significantly. Those taxes involved millions of euros being demanded by the German treasury due to its use of controversial tax avoidance schemes known as dividend-stripping deals, which are likely to be deemed illegal.

The bank’s insolvency has had more serious financial consequences for creditors than previously feared. A spokesperson for the insolvency court told Handelsblatt that 236 creditors have registered claims totaling €3.3 billion, or $3.68 billion.

This would make the case one of the biggest insolvencies ever in the German banking sector.

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