BCCI: it has ceased to be

In other circumstances it would have been a routine filing. But on 26 March 2013 when Appleby filed a series of court orders at the offices of the Registrar of Companies in the Cayman Islands, they were taking the very final step in the largest liquidation the Islands have ever seen. With that step, nearly 22 years after they were ordered to be wound up, Bank of Credit and Commerce International (Overseas) Ltd and the other Cayman entities in the BCCI Group are now dissolved. The Grand Court of the Cayman Islands has discharged from office the partners from Deloitte who have been the Official Liquidators. The Cayman office of Appleby (in the early years of the liquidation known as Hunter & Hunter) acted for the Cayman Liquidators throughout the highly successful process.

Prior to its collapse the BCCI Group operated as an international bank which, at its height, had 417 offices in 73 countries. When it was shut down in July 1991, as a result of concerted action by regulators round the world, it was the largest international banking failure to date, presenting unprecedented challenges and complexities to those then tasked with managing its affairs

Much of this complexity has been acute in the Cayman liquidations, particularly the liquidation of BCCI Overseas which had been one of the principal operating entities within the Group. At the time of closure BCCI Overseas operated branches in 27 countries outside the Cayman Islands. The branches were widely dispersed geographically, comprising the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. Some of these branches had more than one office and between them they had some 220,000 depositor accounts and nearly 2,700 branch employees. Even though all but one of these branches declined to participate in the global administration, creditors from such branches still benefited from it. They retained the right to claim in the Cayman liquidation and receive dividends or, where appropriate, “top-up” dividends (in accordance with the legal principle of hotchpot) to reflect differences between branch and global rates….

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