Consortium bidding for Finablr appoints compliance adviser

Matrix International Financial Services will advise on measures to prevent fraud and other financial crimes

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, August 30 – 2018 :-  Indian expats sending money back home from UAE exchange at the Al Quoz Mall in Al Quoz Industrial area in Dubai. Indian rupee hitting another record low of 19.22 against the UAE dirham on Wednesday.  ( Pawan Singh / The National )  For News. Story by Ramola

The consortium bidding for Finablr appointed Matrix International Financial Services to advise on measures to prevent fraud and other potential financial crimes.

Matrix is a US-based company whose expertise includes devising and implementing fraud prevention strategies, advising on measures to tackle financial crime and on developing anti-money laundering policies.

“The appointment of Matrix is another significant milestone in our plan to recapitalise, restructure and rebuild the group and revitalise its portfolio of assets in some of the world’s fastest-growing markets," Prism Group co-founder Amir Nagammy said.

"Together with Royal Strategic Partners, the consortium is committed to working with all of Finablr Group’s stakeholders to build a major international FinTech group of companies serving the remittance and payment needs of its 22 million customers across 170 countries."

Prism Group's Swiss subsidiary Global Fintech Investments and Abu Dhabi's Royal Strategic Partners signed a share purchase agreement to buy Finablr, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, in December.

Finablr, whose companies include the UAE Exchange, Xpress Money, Bayan Pay, Remit2India and Unimoni brands, is being restructured after the group reported undiscovered liabilities in May last year that mean its debts were $1 billion higher than the $334 million reported in its last filed accounts for the year to June 30, 2019.

The company's former owner, BR Shetty, has claimed he is the victim of a fraud perpetrated by former managers, who forged cheques and other documents without his knowledge.

The restructuring of the business has included a lender-led takeover of its former Travelex business in July last year and the share purchase agreement with the Prism and Royal Strategic Partners consortium for the remainder of the group.

The deal, which is still being finalised, will see the consortium pay a nominal $1 for the business, as well as 25 per cent of any funds recovered from "third parties in respect of possible historic wrongdoing" at the company, up to a maximum of $190m.

Last month, the consortium appointed investment bank Moelis & Company to advise on Finablr's restructuring.