30 Nov 2010

Hanover investors 'will want compensation'

9:08 am on 30 November 2010

A sharebroker who represents some Hanover Finance investors says they will want compensation if the company is found to have acted illegally.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) announced on Monday it has been investigating Hanover for the past three months and now has reasonable grounds to suspect fraud.

Hanover was owned by Mark Hotchin and Eric Watson and 16,000 investors had their investments frozen in July 2008.

In December 2009, the company's assets and loanbooks were sold to Allied Farmers for $400 million.

Paraparaumu stockbroker Chris Lee says a full investigation is needed and Hanover's investors will be hoping for compensation.

But Mr Lee says any compensation is likely to be small compared with the amount of money Hanover's investors have lost.

Allied Farmers' chief executive Rob Alloway told Morning Report investors deserve to have the matter investigated by the SFO, even though he thinks it unlikely they would get their money back.

He says he will be happy to answer investors' questions at the company's annual general meeting on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Mr Alloway says the company is pursuing personal claims against Hanover's former directors and executives. He says these claims include breaches of duties.