Trustee licence not yet decided

MARTA STEEMAN
Last updated 08:42 20/09/2012

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The Financial Markets Authority is still considering whether to grant Canterbury firm Perpetual Trust a corporate trustee licence.

A corporate trustee is appointed to look after investors' interests for certain securities or investments such as those offered by credit unions, building societies and finance companies, and for unit trusts, and to look after the interests of residents of retirement villages.

Perpetual is one of three companies whose application for a trustee licence is still to be decided and the date by which the FMA must make its decision is September 30.

The FMA has to ensure the applicants have the skills, experience, resources and good character to operate as trustees.

The FMA announced yesterday that nine firms had been granted licences to act as trustees and statutory supervisors.

Perpetual later confirmed its application was one of three still being considered.

While Perpetual has applied for a corporate trustee licence it is also being investigated by the FMA.

The investigation was triggered by the watchdog being told of a $28 million loan, authorised by Perpetual parent, Pyne Gould Corporation, from one of Perpetual's smaller funds, the Perpetual Cash Management Fund, to the Torchlight fund, run by Pyne Gould's 76 per cent controlling shareholder, George Kerr.

The High Court has confirmed that the FMA has grounds to suspect a potential breach of Perpetual's duties as trustee and a possible breach of s58 of the Securities Act 1978.

Under the Securities Trustees and Statutory Supervisors Act 2011, securities trustees and statutory supervisors now have to be licensed. Those acting as such on October 1 last year were deemed to have a temporary licence until the end of September this year.

They had to apply for a full licence to the FMA.

The successful licensees are: Anchorage Trustee Company, BDO Auckland Trustee Company, Covenant Trustee Company, Covenant Trustee Services, New Zealand Permanent Trustees, Public Trust, Statutory Supervisors Southern, The New Zealand Guardian Trust Company, Trustees Executors.

Five companies withdrew their licence applications.

Auckland company, Prince and Partners Trustee Company, owned by Auckland accountants, has been declined a corporate trustee licence by FMA.

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- The Press

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