Tuesday 4 July 2006 LAWFUEL – Law News Network – Mr Robert Kelly, the former assistant company secretary of HIH Insurance Limited, today appeared in the Downing Centre Local Court, Sydney, and indicated to the court that he would plead guilty when arraigned next month to a charge arising from his role in the HIH group of companies.
Through his lawyer Mr Kelly told the court that he would plead guilty to an offence under the Crimes Act NSW that on or about 26 May 2000, with the intention of obtaining a financial advantage for FAI Insurances Limited, he concurred in the making of a materially false or misleading statement to officers of Westpac Banking Corporation, that HIH management was not able to produce consolidated accounts of the FAI Group for the financial period ended 30 June 1999 when, in fact, such accounts could have been produced.
The accounts were required to comply with a covenant under a $150 million Medium Term Note (MTN) Programme between FAI Insurances Ltd and certain note holders, mainly overseas financial institutions. Westpac was the manager of the MTN Programme. The MTN Programme also contained a covenant requiring the FAI Group Shareholders Funds be not less than $200 million.
As at 30 June 1999 those funds were $80.9 million. In concurring in the making of the statement Mr Kelly assisted FAI avoid the risk of the note holders calling in amounts owing under FAI Notes. The matter was transferred to the Supreme Court for arraignment on 4 August 2006. Unconditional bail was granted.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter. Contact: Anne Lampe ASIC Media Unit Telephone: 02 9911 2658 Mobile: 0434 600 148