Bigger Banksia returns likely
Investors in failed rural lender Banksia Securities are likely to get a greater return on their losses than first expected.
It comes as the company's receivers, McGrathNicol, confirm key individuals will be questioned at a public examination in the Victorian Supreme Court in July.
Public examinations allow receivers to ask questions of company directors and staff and examine documents under oath, in order to determine whether funds can be recovered from third parties.
McGrathNicol, which took charge of the group and froze the $660 million in investments in October, said repayments to debenture holders were more likely to be 70 to 80¢ to every dollar lost, based on the anticipated sale of Banksia's $270 million lending book.
The group had initially told investors to expect a maximum of 65¢ to every dollar lost.
Receiver Tony McGrath said the revision would be announced following the conclusion of the loan book sale next month.
"As a result of our current loan portfolio sale expectations .. we will shortly be in a position to provide updated repayment guidance to debenture holders," he said.
"We expect that the revision will result in improved total repayments of between 70¢ and 80¢ in the dollar."
In a circular update to debenture holders, McGrathNicol also announced it would question key individuals in public examinations at the Victorian Supreme Court on July 23.
It said the examinations followed investigations by the receivers into the conduct of third parties, including directors and auditors.
Receivers told debenture holders in December that questions around auditor negligence had been central to investigations into the non-bank lender's collapse.
It also said the lender may have been trading while insolvent for some time due to outdated and lazy valuations of its mortgage portfolio.
McGrathNicol did not name the people it planned to interview in July but said it was hoping to determine "whether there are any actionable claims against third parties such as directors, officers, auditors and other advisers that can increase the return to debenture holders".
Banksia's loan portfolio was put on the market in January, with final offers expected early this month.
Mr McGrath said the group was anticipating "strong final bids" from significant financial institutions.
"The sale process will allow us to estimate future distributions with more certainty," he said.
Receivers said they were continuing to meet solicitors over a separate class action launched in December against Banksia, their directors, auditors and the trustee.