Financial watchdog closes German unit of Canada's Maple Financial

Sun Feb 7, 2016 8:03am EST
 
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FRANKFURT Feb 7 (Reuters) - German financial watchdog Bafin on Sunday closed the German operations of Canada's Maple Financial on impending financial over-indebtedness.

Bafin said in a statement that it barred Maple Bank GmbH from taking payments not related to redemption of debt, adding that the lender with 5 billion euros ($5.58 billion) in assets posed no threat to the financial stability of the country.

Maple Bank shot to fame in Germany in 2008, when the lender helped Porsche in its takeover attempt of Volkswagen , which eventually led to the acquisition of the sports car maker by Europe's leading car manufacturer.

Maple Bank specialises in equities and derivatives trading and as of Feb. 4 had 2.6 billion euros in liabilities mainly with institutional clients, whose deposits of up to 100,000 euros will be safeguarded by Germany's deposits protection scheme.

Bafin also said that once Maple Bank will have made necessary tax provisions, over-indebtedness loomed.

In September, German prosecutors searched offices and residences linked to Maple Bank in a probe of serious tax evasion and money laundering connected to dividend stripping. ($1 = 0.8961 euros) (Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Caroline Copley)