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New Zealand regulators file actions against CBL Insurance

The New Zealand Serious Fraud Office filed criminal charges in relation to CBL Insurance Ltd. and associated entities, it said Dec. 17.

The charges were filed after an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand into the company. No further detail on the charges was released.

The country's Financial Markets Authority also filed two separate civil cases against CBL Insurance parent group CBL Corp. Ltd., six directors and its former CFO, the NZ Herald reported. Both cases relate to disclosure breaches, one relating to the company's 2015 initial public offering and the other to obligations to disclose details about reserving and other matters.

Two class actions have also been filed against CBL, the Herald noted. The Financial Markets Authority's general counsel, Nick Kynoch, said those actions are mainly focused on compensating investors, but that "private civil litigation may not always address areas of broader public interest" of concern to the regulator.

New Zealand's High Court appointed liquidators to CBL Insurance in November 2018, while CBL Corp. was liquidated in May 2019. The moves followed the discovery of reserving shortfalls in CBL's European business, particularly in its French construction operation.