The long-running Hanover Finance investigation is dwarfing all previous finance company probes, says Serious Fraud Office boss Adam Feeley.
"It is without precedence in size in New Zealand...it is bigger than South Canterbury Finance, bigger than Equiticorp, bigger than any of the finance companies that we've looked at," Mr Feeley told Fairfax today after appearing before Parliament's law and order select committee.
The Hanover probe was launched in 2010, two years after Hanover froze $554 million of assets affecting 13,000 investors.
It is one of just two remaining SFO probes launched in the wake of a string of finance company failures costing Kiwi investors billions of dollars.
Mr Feeley said in dollar terms, Hanover was not as big as some of the cases taken by the SFO, but it dwarfed the other inquiries in terms of "the number of transactions, the complexity of transactions, the volume of analysis that's been undertaken and the number of parties to be interviewed. It's unprecedented."
He was unwilling to put a date on when the inquiry would be finished.
"We have always said in relation to Hanover, as with any investigation, it will take as long as it needs to take. It's taking a very long time as compared with the other cases because of the sheer scale of it....there are issues that we need to resolve to our satisfaction we haven't done that to date. When we have.....we will make a decision."
In separate action, the Financial Markets Authority filed civil claim against directors of Hanover Finances and related companies in a $35 million cases in April.
Taken under the Securities Act, it was against Mark Hotchin, Eric Watson, Greg Muir, Sir Tipene O'Regan, Bruce Gordon and Dennis Broit.
Those proceedings relate to statements made in the December 2007 prospectuses, subsequent advertising, and the March 2008 prospectus extension certificate, the FMA said in April.
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