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‘Refinancing deal will be in place for full hearing’

Berkeley Berry Birch says it will complete refinancing before its full FSA hearing in February and denies it will dump any liabilities on the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

BBB non-executive director Jonathan Hall says the capital deficit, currently 10.9m, will be met through investments from directors and senior managers and disposals of non-core businesses such as its general insurance arm.

Hall dismisses industry rumours that a deal is close to being reached that would see some of the firm’s liabilities transferred to the FSCS to make parts of the firm more attractive to buyers or ensure stability.

Prestbury chief executive Lee Birkett, who has expressed interest in buying parts of BBB, claims the only way forward is for some of the group’s liabilities to be transferred to the FSCS.

But Falcon Group chief executive Allen Rosengren considers it would be unfair for the industry to have to pick up the bill.

BBB referred the FSA’s decision to cancel the permissions of its three regulated busin-esses to the financial services and markets tribunal, leading to a full hearing in February.

Hall says: “I categorically deny that the FSCS will be part of our future plans, either through disposals or liability capping. By February, refinancing will be in place and we will be looking to regain our position despite comp- etitors trying to degrade our reputation.”


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