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CBL probe reveals possible breaches as chairman quits

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CBL Corporation may have violated corporate and regulatory laws, the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has found.

Areas of possible misconduct include disclosures made under an initial public offering in 2015, financial reporting and directors’ duties.

The New Zealand regulator’s preliminary probe also flags disclosure of information from the middle of last year as a trouble spot.

It is now considering the conduct of CBL’s auditor Deloitte.

The FMA says it will continue to liaise with the Reserve Bank and Serious Fraud Office in their ongoing investigation.

It will seek information from CBL’s voluntary administrator, the liquidator of subsidiary CBL Insurance and relevant overseas regulators.

“Given the involvement of these other agencies and the complexity of the issues, the investigation process is likely to take some time,” the FMA says.

The formerly high-flying insurer faced another setback last Friday when CBL Chairman and director John Wells announced he will step down and relinquish similar roles at CBL Insurance. Two other independent non-executive directors, based overseas, are also resigning.

“We now feel we can simply do no more for shareholders and, with little power or authority, our resignation is the appropriate option in these circumstances and provides clarity and certainty over our position," Mr Wells said.