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APRA announces further disqualifications in relation to HIH

14 Oct 2004

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has announced the disqualification of Mr Rodney Aistrope and Mr Antony Boulden from being or acting as a Director or senior manager of a general insurer or authorised non-operating holding company, or senior manager or agent of a foreign general insurer.
Mr Aistrope was Managing Director of HIH (Liability) Pty Ltd in 2000. APRA found that he failed in his duty to act honestly by complying with instructions from his superiors at HIH to manipulate financial data with the effect that misleading September 2000 quarter management accounts were presented to the HIH Liability and HIH Group Boards. Mr Aistrope’s current employment status is unknown.
Mr Boulden was employed by FAI Limited (FAI) in its general insurance division. APRA found that Mr Boulden caused misleading and incomplete data for FAI to be provided to the company’s external actuaries during the period from mid-1997 to early 1998. This would have contributed to the under-estimation of claims liabilities by the actuaries and ultimately under-reserving by FAI, and deceived FAI’s external auditors who were reliant upon the actuaries’ estimates. It is understood that Mr Boulden is currently not employed in the general insurance industry.
APRA notes that Mr William Howard, a former senior executive of the collapsed HIH Insurance Limited (HIH), was convicted on two counts of criminal misconduct under Section 184 (2) of the Corporations Act on 23 December 2003 and was therefore automatically disqualified from that time from being a director or senior manager of a general insurer under the Insurance Act 1973.
In addition, APRA notes that Mr Rodney Adler and Mr Ray Williams, former directors of HIH, have been disqualified from managing any corporation, including a general insurance company. Those disqualifications were made on 30 May 2002 by the NSW Supreme Court under sections 206C and 206E of the Corporations Act. Mr Adler and Mr Williams were disqualified for 20 years and 10 years, respectively.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) is the prudential regulator of the financial services industry. It oversees banks, credit unions, building societies, general insurance and reinsurance companies, life insurance, friendly societies, and most members of the superannuation industry. APRA is funded largely by the industries that it supervises. It was established on 1 July 1998. APRA currently supervises institutions holding approximately $1.8 trillion in assets for 20 million Australian depositors, policyholders and superannuation fund members.