IB: How to cover short position in a delisted stock?

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by m22au, May 6, 2010.

  1. m22au


    This post is about covering short positions in delisted stocks.

    It is mainly about my short position in Northern Rock (formerly listed on the London Stock Exchange) but it's also about the general concept of covering shorts in delisted companies.

    The short version of my post is:

    I am looking for any help / guidance you can provide regarding how / if / when I can close my short position.

    If Def or Steve_IB are reading this I would be most appreciative if they can provide their thoughts.

    Background information / Longer version:

    I am short shares of Northern Rock.

    Northern Rock was nationalised in February 2008.

    The shares were delisted from the London Stock Exchange in February 2008.

    An announcement was made on 30 March 2010 that shareholders would receive no compensation from the UK government as a result of the nationalisation.

    Furthermore, the "Independent Valuation under the Northern Rock plc Compensation Scheme Order 2008 Final Document" states that

    "Any person who is affected by the determination set out in an
    Assessment Notice may seek reconsideration of the
    determination within 5 weeks from the date of the
    Assessment Notice, i.e. no later than 4 May 2010.

    That deadline has now passed but unfortunately IB customer service told me that I am still unable to close my short position.

    IB suggested that I should contact CREST (https://www.euroclear.com/site/public/EUI)

    I contacted CREST, who suggested that I contact the LSE

    I contacted someone at the LSE, who said that they mainly look after broker to broker trading, and that I should contact the FSA, who look after the broker/client relationship.

    I contacted the FSA consumer helpline (http://www.fsa.gov.uk/Pages/consumerinformation/consumer_contact/index.shtml)
    who suggested that I contact the UK listing authority (44 20 7066 8333).

    I contacted the UK listing authority, who said that I should contact the FSA consumer helpline.

    So I'm going round in circles, and unfortunately not really getting any guidance regarding if and when I can close the short position.

    Even though the various deadlines have passed (30 March 2010; 4 May 2010), it appears that I'm stuck with this position indefinitely.

    Any help that you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
  2. I don't know the answer to your question, but that musta been one hell of a trade :p
  3. xiaohu


    Isn't it the broker's responsiblility to help you with this ?
  4. m22au


    Thanks squirly, yes it was a profitable trade, it was much easier to "short and hold" banks in late 2007 when governments weren't providing bailouts on overly favourable terms.
  5. m22au



    Although my experience with IB has been fantastic previously, I am a little disappointed with the response that I received from them relating to this issue.
  6. Yep, 10,000 % profit.
  7. Hey m22au - I'm curious to know if you ever resolved this issue with IB? I have been short a delisted stock in the US for 1 year now, called Hongli Energy - ticker CETC. It was delisted but never declared bankruptcy, it hasn't been marked down at all, and I am still paying borrow fees. Were you ever able to get IB to market Northern Trust to 0 and get it taken out of your account? Thx.