Reserve Bank of New Zealand v CBL Insurance Limited [2018] NZHC 264

This decision is notable for the fact that the hearing involved proceeding on a Pickwick basis – a practice whereby the respondent to an ex parte application is invited to appear at the hearing without the need to file written submissions.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ), the designated prudential supervisor of insurers, successfully obtained an order to have an interim liquidator appointed for CBL Insurance Limited (CBLI), pending the outcome of substantive liquidation proceedings. The affidavit filed in support of the application recorded RBNZ's view that CBLI had breached the 100% solvency margin required to be maintained by it under the Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act 2010, along with statutory directions made by RBNZ in respect of payments made to overseas recipients.

The application was heard by Courtney J on a Pickwick basis, with counsel for RBNZ attending by telephone and filing a memorandum and affidavit in support, and counsel for CBIL attending in person. Her Honour remarked that counsel for CBIL had been given an appropriate opportunity to respond, within the constraints of the Pickwick process, and that she was satisfied the statutory criteria for an interim order had been met. An appointment of interim liquidators was, therefore, the proper course to take.

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