10 Sep 2009

Inquiry sought into failed finance companies

5:40 pm on 10 September 2009

MPs have been told that if New Zealanders' infatuation with property investment is going to change, people need to have more confidence in other kinds of investment.

A group representing people who have lost millions in finance company collapses is calling for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to get accountability for their losses.

Exposing Unacceptable Financial Activities made its submission to Parliament's commerce select committee on Thursday.

Lawyer Tim Rainey told the select committee an inquiry would look what can be learned from failed investements, so mistakes are not repeated.

Mr Rainey says if another property investment boom is to be avoided other investment options need to have more credibility, and investors need to know their money is safe.

He says the inquiry should also look into whether it is wise to have multiple agencies monitoring the sector.

The group is also calling for the Securities Commission's role in monitoring finance companies to be investigated.

A spokesperson for the group told MPs companies such as Bridgecorp were dishonest about the full extent of their liabilities and the Securities Commission failed to enforce rules around full disclosure.

Gray Eatwell says a lot of people would not have invested their money in some companies if the authorities had done their jobs.