FinTech firm Finablr appoints lawyers to probe ‘historic potential malfeasance’

The company said it 'continues to work with regulators and authorities' on identifying wrongdoing

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
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UAE-based FinTech firm Finablr is appointing law firm Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom as its lead counsel "to investigate historic potential malfeasance within the Finablr Group and any misappropriation of assets", the company said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.

The investigation will cover Finablr "and certain members of its group" and could be used to pursue potential claims that are currently under investigation, the statement said.

"It is anticipated that forensic experts will be appointed in connection with the investigation, which will include a comprehensive review of payments made and transactions carried out within the Finablr Group. Finablr has entered into a funding agreement with a third party funder to cover the cost of the investigation and potentially the pursuit of claims," the statement said.

Finablr operates a group of foreign exchange and digital payment companies that includes brands such as UAE Exchange, Xpress Money, Unimoni, Remit2India and Bayan Pay. It also previously owned the Travelex foreign exchange business, which was taken over by its lenders earlier this month. Finablr floated on the London Stock Exchange in May 2019 in a deal that valued the business at £1.23bn.

However, the group later reported a cyberattack that disrupted operations at Travelex and suffered liquidity issues, which led the UAE Central Bank to step in and oversee operations at its UAE Exchange business in March. Finablr's shares have been suspended since March 16, by which time its value had fallen to £77.2m.

The company, which is majority-owned by NMC Health founder BR Shetty, also reported in May that its debt was $1bn higher than the $334.1m previously reported in its accounts.

Mr Shetty, who remains on the company's board as its chairman, told The National in late May that he was confident in bringing external investment into Finablr.

In its statement on Wednesday, Finablr said it "encourages any party or person with knowledge of any wrongdoings to come forward and co-operate with Skadden on this investigation".

"The board and the newly appointed management team of Finablr remains committed to identify any wrongdoings and recovering any of misappropriated monies and/or assets. Finablr continues to work with regulators and authorities around the world on this matter," the company said.