28 Nov 2018

Halifax NZ in administration, thousands of accounts frozen

3:18 pm on 28 November 2018

Australian administrators have been voluntarily appointed to the New Zealand online brokerage firm Halifax New Zealand.

New Zealand's share market immediately fell two percent on opening

New Zealand's share market immediately fell two percent on opening Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Halifax New Zealand will cease trading immediately, and investor accounts have been frozen, meaning they cannot withdraw their funds.

The same administrators were appointed to its Australian parent Halifax Investment Services late last week.

The administrators from the firm Ferrier Hodgson will now investigate the New Zealand company's affairs alongside the Financial Markets Authority.

Halifax traded derivatives, which were known to be a high-risk investment.

Lead administrator Morgan Kelly said in a written statement that investors were the company's main focus.

"We are conducting an urgent investigation into the business operations and will ensure all stakeholders, creditors, investors and employees, are updated of any developments."

A meeting for New Zealand-based creditors would be held in Auckland on 7 December.

Details on what would happen to investor's accounts would be circulated to creditors in the coming days, the statement said.

Mr Kelly told RNZ on Tuesday that Halifax had at least 4,000 new Zealand investor accounts, but he did not know how much money they held.