Banksia investors question collapse

TWO elderly men who lost hundreds of thousands of dollars they had invested in Banksia Securities believe the company knew of its demise long before it went bust.

Bill Radley and Kelvin Pitcher, both aged 84, had almost half a million dollars between them invested in the non-bank lender when it went into receivership in October.

Although they remain confident they will get at least some of their money back, they say there are a lot of questions that have been left unanswered.

Banksia owed $660 million went it collapsed, leaving thousands of investors across the state in shock.

Mr Radley, from Delacombe, said he could not believe nobody saw the collapse coming.

He had deposited money as late as August.

His son is also owed $220,000.

“You don’t just go broke in a day,” said Mr Radley.

“How were Banksia management not aware of their financial position sooner?

“They were managing a financial lending operation and you would expect them to be experts in this field, yet they still accepted deposits up until the day it went over.”

McGrathNicol announced on Wednesday that investors would receive about 10 per cent of the money they were owed before Christmas.

Mr Pitcher said although it was welcomed news, he would be happy if he only got half of his money back in the end.

However, he remained wary that the longer it took, the less money people were likely to receive.

“The longer it goes on the more dangerous it gets,” he said.

“The majority of investors in Banksia is either nearing retirement or is retired and have invested their savings in Banksia. They don’t want to wait years before Banksia is wound up.”

Both men said they were well aware of the risks in investing with Banksia and although they did not want the government to bail them out in anyway, they said there needed to close scrutiny into what happened at government level.

“It’s not good being savage about the money you lose, it’s a calculated risk you take,” said Mr Radley.

“We just want answers about what actually happened.”

An information session will be held in Ballarat on December 14.

patrick.nolan@thecourier.com.au

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