Hanover Six face $30m in penalties in FMA civil action
Hanover Finance’s investment material painted a picture much rosier than the true state of the books, according to the Financial Markets Authority’s ammunition for civil proceedings.
The FMA’s High Court statement of claim, first revealed by NBR on April 12, lays bare the full arsenal the market watchdog will use against the six former Hanover Finance directors and promoters.
Mark Hotchin, Eric Watson, Greg Muir, Sir Tipene O’Regan, Bruce Gordon and Dennis Broit will defend 10 civil actions under the Securities Act.
If the FMA is successful on all 10 civil actions, the six men could be ordered to pay up to $5 million each in penalties, or $30 million in total, the statement of claim reveals.
The FMA alleges certain statements made in Hanover Finance’s December 2007 prospectus and its March 2008 extension certificate and advertising were misleading and untrue.
Specifically, Hanover’s December 2007 prospectus contained untrue statements around liquidity.
One area where alleged misleading and untruths are found is in chairman Greg Muir’s statement, which talked up Hanover’s profits levels, which “reflect our close management of the return and risk profile of our loan book”.
The FMA claims those statements were untrue because they omitted material about the deterioration of Hanover’s liquidity between June 30, 2007, and December 7, 2007.
During that time, the FMA claims total secured deposits fell from $825,911,000 to $651,902,000.
Meanwhile, reinvestment rates fell from about 81% to 34%.
Read more details about the FMA’s case in tomorrow’s National Business Review print edition.
See the full statement of claim here.