ANZ National will be out of pocket by NZ$45 million after the bank and ING NZ reached a record settlement with the Commerce Commission over two “income funds” managed by its wealth arm ING. ING froze the ING Diversified Yield Fund and the ING Regular Income Fund in late 2008.
The Commission’s investigation related to the marketing, promotion and sale of the funds. ING marketed the Diversified Yield Fund as an investment of “moderate risk” and the Regular Income Fund as “low to moderate risk”.
ANZ’s wealth business in fact invested the money in collateralised debt obligations and collateralised loan obligations. There were also complaints that ANZ National advisers made further misrepresentations to some customers as to the suitability for purpose, nature and composition of the funds.
In June 2009, a subsidiary of ING NZ made an offer to investors to purchase units at a discounted price. The offer was accepted by 99 per cent of investors. The Commerce Commission preferred a settlement with ANZ to a prosecution of its concerns. The NZ$45 million will be made available only to those investors who were invested in the funds on the date of suspension in March 2008.
ANZ National has already spent NZ$500 million in making payments to investors. The bank says it had made adequate provisions for this liability. As of March 2010, the bank had provisions of NZ$198 million, which included provisions related to the ING NZ funds.