21 Feb 2012

Petricevic told of missing payments, but didn't believe it

6:27 pm on 21 February 2012

The former head of the failed finance company Bridgecorp says he was told of missing investor payments before the company collapsed, but he dismissed the information as incorrect.

Rod Petricevic and two other former directors are facing criminal charges over the company's collapse in 2007 owing more than $450 million.

Mr Petricevic has maintained he had no knowledge of missed interest payments in early 2007 until he read about it in a newspaper.

He said this was because he was not involved in the day-to-day running of the business.

But under cross-examination on Tuesday he admitted he was told of missing interest and maturity payments in an April 2007 report.

He said the report was written by a junior employee and he assumed the author was mistaken.

Mr Petricevic said he signed an extension certificate to an investment prospectus on 30 March 2007 because he thought the financial position was similar to what it had been in December when accounts had looked strong.

The certificate said the company's financial position had not materially or adversely changed since the prospectus was signed in mid-2006.

He said when he signed he was following the lead of board chairman Bruce Davidson.

More than 14,500 investors lost about $459 million when Bridgecorp collapsed in 2007. Non-executive director Peter Steigrad and director Rob Roest are also on trial.