Big bill for taxpaxers

By Kathryn Powley

The boss of the latest finance company to be put into receivership has said sorry for a move that could put $178 million of taxpayers' money at risk.

Equitable Mortgages called in receivers on Friday, triggering a taxpayer bailout under the Crown's extended retail deposit guarantee scheme set up to protect investors after a wave of finance company collapses.

Chief executive Peter Thomas said the decision was made when the company realised the economic climate was unlikely to improve in the next three to five years.

"We're entirely sorry."

By making the move now, he hoped the Crown would be able to recover all of the $178m guaranteed under the scheme, meaning no taxpayer funds would have to be used to pay back investors.

Treasury said it expected information gathering to take about eight weeks.

- NZ Herald

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