9 May 2014

Bill Jeffries: no apology to investors

8:30 am on 9 May 2014

Former Lombard Finance director Bill Jeffries is not apologising to investors who lost money because he does not believe he did anything wrong.

The convictions of Jeffries and three fellow Lombard directors for making false statements in a prospectus were confirmed by the Supreme Court on Wednesday, but their home detention sentences were reduced to fines and community service.

Bill Jeffries.

Bill Jeffries. Photo: SNPA

Jeffries, a former Minister of Justice, said he was sorry Lombard investors lost money, but he had pleaded not guilty and still believed that plea was correct.

"Apology is an acceptance that there was a wrong done. I pleaded not guilty and I must stay consistent with that. It was within the realms of reasonable conduct at the time."

He told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme he still believed the directors' actions were reasonable.

He was sorry about Lombard's losses but more than 50 other companies went under and a wider investigation into the collapse of the financial sector in 2008 was needed.

"There are important matters about what goes into offer documents in New Zealand and a restoration of confidence in the capital markets of New Zealand because that's where the jobs come from, that's where the progress is made."