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SCF woes sparked complaint

Friday 24th September 2010

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South Canterbury Finance's woes sparked the initial complaint that led to Allan Hubbard and some of his interests being placed into statutory management. 

"With all the problems of South Canterbury Finance we are worried about our investments," the complainant said in a February 28 letter to the Registrar of Companies. A heavily censored copy of the letter was released by the Securities Commission to the Hubbard Support Team, which is fighting to clear his name. The author wasn't indentified.

Aorangi Securities never offered an investment statement or prospectus, failing to meet regulatory requirements, the complainant said.

"How do these entities continue to operate without becoming a focus of your organisation's enforcement arm?"

Around the time the letter was sent, South Canterbury flagged a $1.1 billion dollar hole in its maturity profile as debentures came due before the guarantee expired.

Hubbard and a number of his business interests were placed under statutory management in June, and resulted in the Serious Fraud Office announcing an investigation into the octogenarian's affairs. South Canterbury, which has since been placed in receivership, escaped the statutory managers, Richard Simpson and Trevor Thornton, of Grant Thornton.

They flagged more concerns about Hubbard's Aorangi Securities and HMF in their second report, issued last month, saying the former was too exposed to the dairy sector and the latter was over-valued by at least 25%. Hubbard disputes the findings.

Securities Commission senior solicitor Natalie Muir defended the censorship of the letter in an email to the lobby group, saying the deleted information contained details which the regulator may investigate, and was to protect the right to anonymity for the investor. It was also to avoid prejudicing future legal action.

South Canterbury Finance was sent to the receivers last month after it failed to bring in a new investor, and prompted the government to write a $1.78 billion cheque after the retail deposit guarantee was triggered.

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