Friday 24 January 2020 1:45 pm

Finablr shares plunge after owner pledges stock as collateral for Travelex debt

Shares in payments firm Finablr plunged to a record low today after its owner pledged more than half the company’s stock as security for debts incurred buying foreign exchange company Travelex.

In an update to the stock exchange this morning, Finablr disclosed that majority owner B. R. Shetty had pledged 392.2 million shares, over 56 per cent of its stock, to refinance debt related to the acquisition of Travelex in 2015.

Shares in Finablr fell as much as 26.34 per cent following the announcement. 

Travelex was hit by a cyber attack at the start of the year that forced it to take all its systems offline. 

The company provides forex services for customers of HSBC, Barclays, and Virgin Money, as well as Tesco and Sainsbury’s banks. 

Hackers from the ransomware gang Sodinokibi, also known as REvil, had demanded $6m (£4.6m) from Travelex in exchange for customer data.

The borrowings referred to in Finablr’s market filing date from March 2016, and were used to refinance debt related to the acquisition of Travelex.

Shares in Finablr had fallen to a record low in the days after the ransomware attack, with two major shareholders offloading stakes worth up to £72m. 

Last week Travelex restored some customer-facing systems, over a fortnight after the cyber attack was launched. 

Chief executive Tony D’Souza also said the IT system used by Travelex staff was working again, and apologised “for the loss of some of our services and any inconvenience that has caused”.

The Metropolitan Police has launched a criminal investigation into the cyber attack.