16 Jun 2009

ING defends offer to investors

7:59 pm on 16 June 2009

A company that froze the money of thousands of investors last year is defending an offer that would result in a partial payback.

The funds of ING New Zealand, originally worth more than $500 million, were frozen after their value crumbled.

An independent report, commissioned by ING, has calculated the value of the funds at between 21 cents and 24 cents a unit.

On Monday, ING and its part-owner, ANZ Bank, reiterated an offer that would result in investors being repaid between 60c and 62c a unit if they agree not to take legal action. The companies told investors they were committing more than $400 million to the offer.

Some investors say they want all their money back. One, Clive Beswick, says the actions of ING and ANZ are scandalous. He believes everyone should get back both the principal and interest.

ING and ANZ say the investment was described as low to moderate risk and their offer is a fair one.

The Commerce Commission and the Banking Ombudsman are investigating to see whether the funds were mis-sold.

Earlier in the day in Christchurch, several hundred angry investors confronted ING New Zealand and ANZ Bank over the future of the frozen funds. Some investors accused the companies of bullying tactics and called for a complete reimbursement of their funds.