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ANZ loses court bid over Ross files

ANZ has lost its court battle to keep the Financial Markets Authority from sharing information about its Ross Asset Management files.

Friday, April 12th 2019, 12:21PM

ANZ was the banker for the Ponzi scheme, which failed in 2012, taking millions of dollars of investors’ money with it.

The bank and FMA have been locked in a court battle for years over the regulators’ desire to access its filed relating to the business.

It had formed a view over the course of its investigation that ANZ could be liable to investors in knowing receipt and dishonest assistance.

It wanted to be able to access documents and disclose them to the Ross Asset Management liquidation committee, as a proxy for investors.

That would be done for the purposes of obtaining responses to the information received from ANZ and any additional information from the investors, determining the next steps that should occur to enable the investors to evaluate the merits of a claim against the bank and to consider their position with regard to that claim, and enabling the regulator to determine whether to exercise its powers under s34 of the FMA Act.

The bank had argued that the FMA was acting outside its remit. The High Court initially supported that view, but the Court of Appeal rejected it and now the Supreme Court has denied it leave to appeal that decision.

A statement from the FMA said it was pleased with the Supreme Court decision.

“Now that the restrictions on confidentiality over all these matters has been lifted, the FMA will be able to engage with the liquidation committee of Ross Asset Management and the liquidators of RAM on the substantive matters at the heart of this case.

“ANZ’s decision to judicially review the FMA and to seek confidentiality over the High Court and Court of Appeal judgments meant our ability to talk to investors was curtailed.

“The FMA at this point has made no decision on the use of its section 34 powers under the FMA Act. A significant part of our consideration of our Section 34 powers involves engaging with the appropriate representatives of impacted investors first."

Tags: FMA Ross Asset Management

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