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Tatura residents in shock over Banksia

A Tatura resident said much of the town was invested in Banksia Securities Limited before it went into receivership on October 25. The closure has also forced the shutdown of the town's Westpac branch.

BOB NICOL October 30, 2012 11:29am

Banksia clients were not happy to see this notice on the office door on Friday.


 

Tatura residents are in shock following the announcement Banksia Securities Limited has been placed in receivership, owing investors $660million.

The closure of the Tatura office has also forced the shutdown of the town’s Westpac branch, which operated from the Banksia office.

On Thursday clients were faced with a ‘Continuous Disclosure Notice’ on the front door of the Tatura office when seeking answers.

McGrathNicol were appointed receivers and in a statement said it would explore the option of making an initial return of capital to investors within eight weeks.

One Tatura resident who spoke to the Guardian said ‘‘it is not good’’.

‘‘Everyone is affected. The whole town supported them (Banksia),’’ he said.

McGrathNicol’s Tony McGrath said the receivers were in the process of conducting an urgent review of BSL’s financial position, loan book and underlying security properties.

‘‘Our primary concern is to ensure the interests of debenture holders are being protected,’’ Mr McGrath said.

‘‘In this regard, we will be working closely with the Trustee to ensure debenture holders receive regular communication and BSL’s assets are managed in a manner to maximise returns.’’

On behalf of the Trustee, the Trust Company Limited group executive general manager corporate client services David Grbin said the Trustee had acted on the board of Banksia’s request to appoint receivers and managers.

‘‘We will focus our attention on ensuring debenture holders are treated fairly and equally,’’ Mr Grbin said.

‘‘We will communicate with debenture holders openly and will act in their best interests throughout the receivership.

‘‘Regular updates will be provided to debenture holders as the receivership progresses.’’

It is not known how many people have been affected by the sudden closure and freezing of funds, but one thing is certain, it may well have long-term ramifications on Tatura businesses, community groups and organisations, and the average person in the street for some time to come.

Federal Member for Murray Sharman Stone contacted The Guardian after the announcement.

Dr Stone assured Tatura residents who bank with Westpac their funds were still available.

‘‘I can assure them their funds are still available, but with the Banksia office closed until further notice, they will have to do their banking at an alternative branch,’’ she said.

She said Centrelink has moved quickly following the collapse and was asking people who receive pensions which are paid into an account at Banksia, to contact their Shepparton office immediately to make alternate banking arrangements.

She said Centrelink could provide some short-term assistance for those in immediate need and once again, people should contact Centrelink to discuss their particular circumstances.

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