Evening Standard

Ashley in Iceland probe

Posted 17/12/2009 - 23:28 by glen07

2009-12-15 13

Ashley in Iceland probe
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Mike Ashley was today facing an investigation into his relationship with Iceland’s banks and rival sports retailer Chris Ronnie.

Ashley, founder and deputy chairman of Sports Direct and owner of Newcastle United FC, looks set to be dragged into a probe by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) into the failed Icelandic bank Kaupthing. Ashley was a depositor with some of Iceland’s banks and reports said the SFO plans to look at whether he may have also taken out loans.

Investigators are also said to want to know if Ronnie, the former chief executive of rival JJB Sports, may have indirectly received some of the loans.

The SFO plans to look at what happened immediately before the demise Mike Ashley was a depositor with some of Iceland’s banks of Kaupthing and how some customers were able to withdraw funds days before its collapse.

In addition, it wants to examine the scale of loans, including those to property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz, who borrowed £1.25 billion to buy stakes in Sainsbury’s and Mitchells & Butlers.

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Darling's 'duty to repay councils'

2009-02-03 16

CHANCELLOR Alistair Darling fuelled the run on Iceland's banks and has a "moral" obligation to help repay the £1billlion lost by British councils as a result, MPs were told today.

Town hall chiefs told the Treasury Select Committee that Mr Darling should pay up because he personally exacerbated the banking crisis when he stated last year that the Reykjavik government had warned it may not honour its duties to British investors.

Richard Kemp, deputy chairman of the Local Government Association (LGA), said that the Treasury should stop dragging its heels over a compensation deal with councils and should bail them out.

Mr Kemp's evidence came as depostiors in one Icelandic subsidiary also accused Mr Darling of misleading the international community about Iceland's intentions. The Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander Isle of Man Action Group (KSFIOM) claimed that there was no evidence of any warning of possible default from Reykjavik, a claim backed up by Iceland's ambassador to the UK.

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