$633m compensation order for Australian finance executives

Some of the former directors have been given bans from managing corporations for up to 25 years, while one has been banned permanently (file)
Some of the former directors have been given bans from managing corporations for up to 25 years, while one has been banned permanently (file)

A group of Australian finance directors have been slapped with a $633 million ($615 million AUD) compensation order and have been given bans from running corporations.

The cabal of former FMS directors all received serious penalties, in one of the biggest compensation orders relating to a company collapse in Australian history according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

The compensation payments will be given to over 10,000 retirees who but their life savings into an MFS investment scheme, only for the MFS Group to collapse in the 2008 financial crisis - owing $2.6 billion ($2.5 billion AUD).

The former chief executive, deputy chief executive, investment management CEO, chief financial officer, and Investment Management funds manager were all given bans, compensation orders and fines.

Some of the former directors have been given bans from managing corporations for up to 25 years, while one has been banned permanently.

The retirees had invested in the Premium Income Fund, which was frozen to redemptions from investors in 2009 holding $800 million ($770 million AUD) of their life savings.

The Supreme Court of Queensland found in March 2016 that the five former directors had committed 217 contraventions of the Corporations Act, relating to their involvement in misappropriating $155 million ($147.5 million AUD) of funds.

Justice James Douglas said the law was "flagrantly ignored" by the defendants and they had "complete disregard" of their duties under the Corporations Act, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

"The insouciant attitude of the defendants to this misuse of money intended to be used for PIF's investors beggars belief."

He said the large compensation order is a function of the amount of money the directors misappropriated.

"The penalties sought must reflect the seriousness of the conduct that facilitated the misapplication of the money."

Newshub.