Lehman creditors still being repaid: Administrator
Some of Lehman Brothers' Europe-based creditors will be repaid almost all the funds owed to them, according to the administrator of the European operations of the defunct investment bank.
"There's an ever higher likelihood now that you will get your money back if you're an unsecure creditor and you'll get your assets back if you're a claimant to assets or cash," Tony Lomas, joint administrator and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) partner, told CNBC.
The administrators now estimate that the previous best case scenario of 116.2p in the pound for unsecured creditors will be better than expected.
This is a far cry from the concerns which followed the collapse of the august investment bank on September 15, 2008, when financial stocks had their worst ever day on the Standard & Poor's index.
The market meltdown which followed the collapse of Lehman's could happen again,unless global financial authorities continue to try to prevent it, Lomas warned.
"Given the inbuilt complexity and size of these businesses,there's no amount of planning that can avoid some form of mayhem in the event of a collapse," he said.
Regulators around the world are trying to bring in rules to make sure that banks are more tightly regulated in future. During the fallout from the credit crisis, some banks were dubbed "too big to fail" because their collapse could have caused systemic risk to the financial system – and the resulting bailouts have increased the level of government debt.
"Authorities will do whatever they possibly can to prevent it, by actually not allowing it to fail one way or another, by providing it with liquidity of some sort or another to keep it going for a while," Lomas added.
Working on the fallout from Lehman was similar to theadministration of collapsed energy trader Enron, which PwC also worked on,according to Lomas. He described the "framework" of Lehmans as similar toEnron.
Unwinding Lehman's European operations has been lucrative for the accountants, as it is believed to have led to the highest ever fees charged for a U.K. corporate collapse, including £88 million in the last six months of 2012. Nearly 500 people are still working fulltime on the administration.
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