Formula One group backer hits trouble

The West Landesbank, which was responsible for the Formula One bond issue a couple of years ago, is in some difficulties having just announced a loss of $2bn for 2002. The bank's chief executive Jurgen Sengera has resigned because of criticism over losses made at the West LB specialized financing unit in London, the division which did the deal with Bernie Ecclestone. Robin Saunders, who heads that unit, is expected to depart shortly. The bank is expected to stop the London operation doing any new business but will continue to manage the existing portfolio, including the F1 bonds.

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