The Serious Fraud Office is now investigating CBL Insurance and associated entities, adding to investigations by the Reserve Bank and Financial Markets Authority.

Auckland-based CBL Corp had its stock suspended from the NZX on Feburary 8 amid concerns from NZX Regulation about the information it had given the market, following engagement between it, CBL, the Financial Markets Authority, the Reserve Bank, and a number of overseas regulators with prudential oversight of CBL's international insurance business.

On February 20, CBL Insurance told the Reserve Bank it was continuing to operate despite being below the minimum regulatory solvency level.

CBL then appointed KordaMentha voluntary administrators on March 2 after the Reserve Bank sought an interim liquidation of its New Zealand supervised arm and the Central Bank of Ireland made a similar move against the insurer's European division.

Advertisement

CBL Insurance is a unit of NZX-listed company, CBL Corp, which is in voluntary administration.

In a press release this afternoon, the SFO said it is "investigating matters relating to CBL Insurance and associated entities", the Reserve Bank is cooperating, and no further comment on these investigations will be made at this time.

Peter Harris, managing director at CBL Insurance Group, told the Herald he didn't know what SFO were looking at.

"I have no idea what the SFO are looking at, but the sooner their inquiries are completed the better.

"Whilst a SFO inquiry is never a good look, at least they are independent, discreet and competent. So are the FMA.

"In the meantime Alistair Hutchison and I will continue to work with the lawyers and banks and administrators to be able to table a restructure proposal to put in front of creditors and shareholders," Harris said.

The Auckland High Court has set aside three days beginning July 30 to hear the Reserve Bank's application to liquidate CBL Insurance, with the central bank alleging that CBL Insurance breached solvency margins and statutory directions.

The FMA said last month that it intends to file a case stated procedure to clarify whether continuous disclosure rules still apply to listed companies if they enter voluntary administration, due to the circumstances surrounding CBL.

Advertisement