6 Mar 2012

Insured Group fined for breaches

7:07 am on 6 March 2012

Insured Group, which took over the Lombard Group in 2010, has been censured by the NZ Markets Disciplinary Tribunal for breaching stock exchange rules.

The company has been ordered to pay $50,000 for failure to file its annual report on time in 2011. Insured Group was suspended from trading on the NZX for seven weeks for that breach.

NZX took a case against the company in January alleging three rule breaches.

In a report issued on Monday the disciplinary tribunal said that, in the most serious breach, the company did not make its annual report available until two months after it was due.

The tribunal said shareholders were consequently not informed on Insured Group's financial position at a time when there were doubts about whether its auditors would be able to issue an unqualified opinion on its financial statements.

The tribunal also said Insured breached two other rules when it said its annual report was on its website, when it was not.

The fine and censure came on the same day Insured announced that its chairman, Bill Jeffries, had resigned.

Mr Jeffries, fellow former cabinet minister Sir Douglas Graham, and two other business associates, are awaiting sentence for misleading Lombard Finance investors.