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British industrialist Sanjeev Gupta’s companies seemed to be prospering until his main lender, Greensill Capital, imploded last month. But long before Greensill collapsed, several banks had cut off the commodity trading business of Gupta’s Liberty House Group.

Four banks stopped working with Gupta’s commodity trading business, starting in 2016, after they became concerned about what they perceived to be problems in bills of lading — shipping receipts that give the holder the right to take possession of a cargo — or other paperwork provided by Liberty, according to interviews with 18 people directly involved in the trades, as well as internal communications seen by Bloomberg News. The banks include Sberbank, Macquarie Group, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and ICBC Standard Bank. Goldman Sachs Group also stopped working with Gupta’s companies around that time...

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