ASB is back in court with a prostitute this afternoon to recoup money stolen by a former investment adviser, but online discussions so far show strong support for the woman.

Stephen Versalko was convicted for stealing $17.8 million during nine years of working at ASB, and the bank is trying to recover up to $2.55 million it alleges the prostitute was paid.

The High Court in Auckland said the parties would be meeting today at 2.15pm following all-day negotiations yesterday, and the settlement conference would again be closed to the public and media.

On nzherald.co.nz this morning, comments supporting the woman outnumbered support for ASB's case six to one. Many said ASB was bullying her.

"The lady was clearly good at her job, why should she have to give the money back?" said JR, from Whangamata.

"I think the ASB is trying to screw the prostitute to get the money back as they see her as the easiest target. Is the ASB also trying to get the $300k spent on wine from the wine vendor," said Sooty.

The North Shore's Warwick Jordan agreed. "Surely they should be chasing them too - even if he's drunk all the wine; after all he's 'consumed' his services from the women concerned, just like he consumed the wine."

"The ASB board members are probably all male and this is just a simple female who has to be bullied about to recoup their (ASB's) losses. Certainly makes me glad I stopped banking with ASB after this sort of bully boy tactic on their part," said westie.

Some, however, compared the woman's money to a stolen car, saying it should be handed back.

"If you buy a car that later turns out to be stolen, you don't get to keep it, it gets returned to the rightful owner. In this case the stolen money needs to be returned to its rightful owner - the bank," said Ponsonby's Carol Morrison.

Among the money and gifts Versalko gave the prostitute is $10,000 for a clothes-shopping spree and a business trip to a luxury hotel in Dubai.

ASB has already recovered $4m from selling two properties formerly owned by Versalko in Auckland's upmarket suburb of Remuera and another in the Coromandel.

In a court file released by Justice Rhys Harrison last month, the ASB said it was "unconscionable" for Versalko to have made the fraudulent payments to the woman whom he met at the Pelican Club in Auckland.

The bank said it was also "unconscionable" for the woman - and companies she transferred funds into - to have kept the money.

The ASB statement of claim says that Versalko made two large payments to a company run by the woman: $1 million in December 2008 and $964,287 in April 2009.

The two sums were transferred directly from accounts of customers he defrauded.

He made a further 19 payments to her between April 2008 and August 2009 of between $3500 and $100,000 shortly before the fraud was discovered.

Versalko also made several cash payments and gave her $10,000 to buy clothes to wear on a business trip to Dubai. The pair stayed at the exclusive Burj Al Arab Hotel, where the cheapest room costs US$2000 ($2980) a night.

Two other defendants in the ASB case are companies of which the woman is a director. She transferred $720,000 into one company to purchase a lifestyle block, where she now lives.

According to the ASB, a sum of at least $290,000 was transferred from the first company to the second company.

A fourth defendant is a property development company that received $520,000 from one of the companies owned by the woman.

Versalko met her at the Pelican Club, which charges clients $210 an hour or up to $1500 a night - although the women there earn considerably less than that.

Catherine Healy, of the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective, told the Herald in March that the escort would have earned an hourly rate, and she could also be an independent contractor who could charge any price she wanted.

"Private arrangements may be initiated at the first point of contact, but who can say it was just contained at the Pelican Club?

"All sorts of the most remarkable arrangements come from private client relationships and this [Versalko case] is one of those," said Ms Healy.

"It's rare, but not uncommon, to hear of clients paying huge sums of money or buying houses for them."

While Versalko was able to defraud the ASB of $17.8 million for nine years, the scam was unravelled in just one day when a customer rang the bank with concerns.

ASB is yet to explain how Versalko escaped detection for so long but says new procedures are in place to prevent such fraud from happening again.