It’s burning for David Cameron after MPs hit Lex Greensill for the collapse
In 2010, when David Cameron was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, he gave a speech criticizing lobbyists. “We all know how it works. Lunch, hospitality, a calm word of mouth, former rental ministers and former advisers are all helping big companies find their way. ”
Eleven years later Cameron’s ruthless lobby has appeared there a treasure trove of private messages Sent to senior members of the Tory government.
WhatsApp, text and email messages – sent 56 times since the pandemic began in 2020 – were released by the former prime minister at the request of a select Finance Committee that is investigating the fall of Greensill Capital. Cameron was a consultant for the supply chain financing company.
Cameron, who is due to give verbal evidence on Thursday, will be horrified to see Lex Greensill as his former partner. 11 MPs themselves grilled on Tuesday evening.
In three hours of questioning, lawmakers repeatedly asked the Australian financier about the flaws in his business – at one point he was forced to deny that he was a “fraudster”.
MPs report news of loans from Greensill Capital to metal conglomerate GFG Alliance suspicious invoices which have created suspicions of fraud.
“We would never have been able to fund collections that were fraudulent by us or my company,” Greensill told the committee.
Lots of messages
FT first appeared in mid-March when Cameron – once Greensill’s stock options were worth $ 10 million – approached the top figures in the Treasury and Downing Street last year for government support.
New documents show that Cameron – the “DC” who signs his messages – was putting even more pressure than the government thought, such as his old friend Michael Gove, including the Cabinet Office minister.
He saw a slew of messages over the past three months that the former prime minister was holding on to the flattery of unsuccessfully changing Covid’s rules on debt schemes between March and May last year in favor of his client Greensill Capital.
In one of 13 messages sent to Rishi Sunak, Cameron praised the chancellor: “You are doing a great job – keep going.” In a text on April 29 last year, he said there had been great progress in the negotiations between Greensill and the Treasury, “thank you for that.” Sunak responded directly to both texts.
In May, as the Treasury denied Greensill’s requests, Cameron tried to bow to Sunak again, saying, “I apologize for worrying you again. We should get to that response sooner.”
In the documents, Cameron sent messages to other former colleagues including Nadhim Zahawi, then business minister. Greensill wrote to Gover about the situation. “The first thing tomorrow is that I am talking to Rishi. If I’m still stuck, then can I call? Thank you! DC. ”In a separate message, he praised the“ excellent work ”Gove is doing.
Cameron also wrote to Richard Sharp, a Sunak – and now BBC president – who was advising the banker to denounce the slow progress. “I’m afraid the ministers will have to stick around a bit more,” he complained.
Former Prime Minister Tom Scholar sent permanent Secretary of the Treasury. “We’ll see Rishi get an elbow or shoe kick. Maite Dc [sic]”In another message, he told Scholar that” you are happy with the management. “
In the week of March, when he sent messages to Scholar almost every day, he apologized: “I promise one last point that I will stop being annoyed.” When the scholar was not very positive, he responded the next day by complaining and threatening to call cabinet ministers: “This seems to be evil. Now I am calling CX [Sunak], Gove, denei “.
New Treasury documents show how he consulted with the industry to allow supply chain financing providers access to the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility facilities to rule out the idea in June.
Cameron stressed that he was unaware of Greensill’s financial difficulties until December last year.
Andrew Bailey, the governor of the Bank of England, said in a presentation to the Finance Committee that the BoE first experienced a “potential weakness” in Greensill in March 2020, when Cameron began to intensify his lobbying activities.
Risk of concentration
Lex Greensill told the Finance Committee on Tuesday the main reason for the group’s failure Decision taken by Tokyo Marine, its main insurance provider, does not renew coverage, Covid among the wider hustle and bustle.
However, emails posted in various lawsuits show that the insurer released an insurance policy for providing excessive coverage to Greensill. Cameron personally lobbied the subscriber.
The loans created by Greensill were sold in funds to Credit Suisse. Insurance provided coverage against underlying debt defaults, which was critical to the smooth running of the process.
Greensill said he has taken “full responsibility” for the collapse of his company and admitted that he has “a risk of concentration” that will eventually “dissolve” the business and, in general, “excessive reliance on insurance.”
He stressed that his company’s loans are backed by real assets, although he admitted that up to 20% of the group’s loan last year was based on “future receivables”.
Documents released by the Finance Committee also clarified how Greensill put pressure on the UK Financial Conduct Authority, which is now investigating the company.
The FCA has previously examined issues related to GAM, the Swiss asset manager invest hard Greensill was forced to liquidate some of its funds and products in 2018. He questioned staff and plagued them via internal emails after a whistleblower raised concerns, the FT reported in 2019.
At the hearing, Lex Greensill wanted to answer questions from Labor MP Emma Hardy about whether the FCA investigated Greensill when it examined GAM issues, saying he was not sure if he was allowed to discuss the issue.
Separated in December 2020, Lex Greensill met with Chris Woolard, who was leading a review of the FCA in the unsecured credit market, to discuss how a Greensill company was making a scheme for NHS employees. pay money for the day.
Woolard asked “where does that make money?” and Greensill said it was “additional” to the NHS “because they are already doing a lot with NHS contracts,” the meeting notes.