LCH.Clearnet completes MF Global client transfers

Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:45am EST

* LCH completed client transfers to other brokers

* Clearer has returned outstanding monies to KPMG

By Luke Jeffs

LONDON, Nov 29 (Reuters) - European clearing house LCH.Clearnet said on Tuesday it had moved all of its clients' positions with MF Global to new brokers in a positive step for the defunct trading firm's former customers.

LCH said it had successfully transferred over 300 client positions to new brokers, meaning these outstanding orders could now be actively traded again after they were frozen on Oct. 31 when MF Global collapsed.

"I am very pleased with the way our team has handled a very complex and difficult resolution over multiple markets and multiple asset classes at a time of extreme market stress," said Ian Axe, Chief Executive of LCH.Clearnet.

LCH.Clearnet also said in an emailed statement it had returned to MF Global's administrator KPMG all the outstanding client monies held by LCH, enabling KPMG to start returning the much-needed cash to the relevant firms.

The LCH update came a day after the administrator said MF Global clients would be able to start formally claiming monies frozen at the firm from Dec. 8 this year.

The moves are a boost to MF Global clients who have become increasingly frustrated by the lack of progress recovering the estimated $1.2 billion of client cash and assets frozen at the former futures broker.

Earlier this month KPMG took the unusual step of apologizing to MF Global customers and assuring them it was transferring client positions "wherever possible".

The administrator also moved to reassure MF Global investors when it said 10 days ago it would make interim distributions of money to clients before it had finally settled all positions.

MF Global had been one of the biggest U.S. futures brokerages but the firm, led by former United States Senator Jon Corzine, failed after a bad $6.3 billion bet on European sovereign debt spooked counterparties and investors.