Alpari UK creditors set for scrap over Swiss trades

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The former West Ham football shirt sponsor blew up in January after the Swiss National Bank suddenly scrapped the Swiss franc’s €1.20 floor against the euro. That sent the value of the Swissie soaring and left Alpari saddled with huge debts from clients betting the other way.

More than 100 jobs were lost at the broker, which held $94.5 million (£63 million)  in client funds.

Administrator KPMG has set up a portal which 83,000 former Alpari customers can access to reclaim money. For those with cash in their accounts and no open trading positions, getting their cash back will be relatively straightforward.

But KPMG is braced for a raft of questions from the ranks of the 1,200 clients who had open bets on the Swiss franc at Thursday’s creditors’ meeting in the City.

The extreme volatility in the market which saw the euro weaken from €1.20 to as low as €0.80 against the franc in the minutes following the decision racked up major losses — and in some cases big profits — for Alpari customers.


A source close to the administrator said: “There are some valuation issues due to the very extreme things that happened over that two-day period.

“People were closed out at different times at different rates so there are a number pretty concerned at what rate is being applied to them and they will dispute a rate they regard as unfavourable.

“Pleasing everybody is going to be impossible. We will try to come up with something which is defensible, fair and reasonable.”

KPMG struck a “multi-million-dollar” deal to sell off the intellectual propertyof the business, including the Alpari brand name, to IP Holdings, a company linked to the Russian founders of Alpari.

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March 9, 2015 |
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