Bonus Bonds wind-up: Many yet to make contact with scheme

Bonus Bonds investors are due to receive a share of the $870 million remaining in the scheme....
Bonus Bonds investors are due to receive a share of the $870 million remaining in the scheme. Photo: Getty Images
Hundreds of thousands of Bonus Bonds investors are yet to make contact with the scheme as its wind-up continues.

ANZ general manager branch network Andrew Webster says so far145,000 bondholders who are due to receive a share of the remaining funds have been in contact.

He says while that's about 14 per cent of the total number of bondholders, it does represent 63 per cent of the total funds invested.

"It's a big portion of the funds, but it does mean there's still lots of people we want to hear from.... and we're really keen to hear from those remaining people as quickly as possible."

ANZ announced in August last year that it would stop taking new investments and look at winding up the scheme due to low interest rates reducing the prize pool.

Bondholders were then given until October 31 last year to cash in their investment or wait to get their money back, with the possibility of getting a bit extra.

Earlier this year it was confirmed that investors who hung onto their bonds would get $1.10 for each Bonus Bond they held.

Webster says they're happy with how the wind-up is progressing.

"We've got a dedicated team working really hard to contact the more than one million investors who are due to receive a share of the $870 million remaining in the scheme."

He says they've written and emailed everyone who they have details for, and they have heard back from a number of them.

"But there's still around 890,000 people that we need to hear back from, so we've obviously got a long way to go."

He says the scheme is a bit of an institution in New Zealand - it's been around a long time and was very popular.

But Webster says because it's so old, there will be deceased estates or situations where people have moved houses or countries and haven't kept their details up to date.

"That's one of the challenges we have, trying to make contact with those bondholders."

He says they're planning another media campaign later this year to try and contact more people.

"But then we will get into a process of looking at who have we not heard from and what other avenues we can follow.

"Ultimately, when we think we've done everything that we can, we get to a stage where the funds become what we would call unclaimed, and then we then hand those funds over to Treasury."

Webster says for all those customers who have already provided their bank account number, they should be starting to see payments hit their accounts in December.

He says it will primarily be one payment.

"Once we have worked through the final wind-up of the scheme, any funds left in the scheme will also be distributed to those bondholders.

"So it's possible that once the $1.10 has been distributed for each bond there may be a small amount left. That could be a couple of cents per bond held, so there could be a second, small distribution payment to those bondholders."

Webster is also paying tribute to the generosity of about 6000 bondholders who have taken up the option to donate their bond holdings to the Cancer Society, rather than redeem the funds themselves.

"Especially with the year we've all had, and with Daffodil Day and the Cancer Society's annual fundraiser being disrupted this year."

He says so far it adds up to just over $100,000 in donations.

Anyone who thinks they might be a Bonus Bondholder is encouraged to call the dedicated line, 0800 266 374.


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