Central Bank of Ireland tells Bloxham to cease trading with immediate effect after discovery of financial irregularities
Ireland’s oldest stockbroking firm has stopped trading after alleged financial irregularities were discovered.
Bloxham Stockbrokers confirmed on Monday that external and internal investigations have been launched into activities at the business.
The Central Bank of Ireland has directed Bloxham to cease all trading with immediate effect.
Rival broker Davy said it had acquired Bloxham’s asset management business. It did not disclose the terms of the deal.
The central bank said that all former private clients of Bloxham are now clients of Davy, with the exception of a less than 1% who have decided to make other arrangements.
In a statement from its headquarters in Dublin, the central bank said it will continue its own investigation into financial irregularities at Bloxham.
Bloxham stressed that no client funds were involved or at risk from the discovery of issues in the internal finances of the firm.
It said the issues were discovered for the first time late last week after an inquiry from the central bank. They related to the reporting and accounting of the firm’s income which was overstated over a number of years.
Bloxham said the financial partner of the firm was immediately suspended. The remaining partners in the firm, who were unaware of the issues, have asked a firm of forensic accountants to verify the position and assist in further investigations.
“A further investigation is ongoing and will be reported as appropriate in due course, having regard to necessary legal and regulatory frameworks and protocols,” the statement added.
Bloxham Stockbrokers currently employs 70 staff and 40 of these employees will transfer to Davy, but it is expected the remaining 30 will lose their jobs.
Bloxham had €540m (£430m) in private client accounts which belongs to 17,000 customers. These funds are secure and will transfer to Davy. There are eight partners in the company.
Bloxham Stockbrokers were founded more than 150 years ago and is currently based at the Irish Financial Services Centre overlooking the river Liffey in central Dublin.
Up until it business was suspended it was handling around €700m of assets. It trades both on the Irish Stock Exchange and in the City of London.