Banksia lawsuit on the cards

Editorial: Burnt Banksia investors deserve truth

STRATHFIELDSAYE resident Jim Stein hopes to start a class action group against Banksia. 

Mr Stein, who lost $130,000 in the company’s collapse, said he already had about seven people keen to join the group and had approached a solicitor. 

“I’ve been reading the interim receivers’ report and on the surface it appears there may be problems with the way the directors and the holding company have run their business,” he said. 

“ASIC, from what I can tell, were starting to look at them and they knocked back a prospectus. 

“I’m not an accountant, but I understand a bit and need to seek further professional advice.” 

Those owed money in the $663 million collapse received 20 cents in the dollar back on Friday and are likely to eventually receive 50 to 65 cents in the dollar. 

Receiver Tony McGrath said Banksia had advanced $527 million in loans to almost 1000 borrowers and most of the remaining money was cash at bank. 

Barry Taylor, who had $430,000 invested in Banksia, said he would join the class action.  

“If they were lending money too easily to the wrong people, they shouldn’t have been,” he said. 

“It’s going to destroy a lot of pensioners... that’s the part that hurts me. I reckon people will go to an early grave because of this.”

Mr Taylor said he was concerned by the actions of directors and an audit from Bendigo company Richmond Sinnott & Delahunty soon before the collapse that gave Banksia a clean bill of financial health. 

Mr Taylor, who lives in Maiden Gully, will fly from Queensland for an information session in Shepparton on Friday.  

The Victorian government’s Mobile Business Centre will also be at the Bendigo Council car park from 10am to 4pm on Wednesday to provide advice, assistance and mentoring to businesses affected by the collapse. 

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