GSI freeze causes ‘further inconvenience’

Thousands of mum and dad investors face another fortnight of uncertainty, after mortgage fund Gippsland Secured Investments announced it was extending a hold on withdrawals until 13 August.

The extended freeze comes after an application by GSI’s trust company to appoint an administrator was rejected in the Federal Court on Thursday.

“GSI recognises that this will create further inconvenience for investors for which the company apologises, but the company is seeking all ways it can return funds as soon as possible,” spokesperson Steve Murphy said.

For one Valley investor, who wished to remain anonymous so as not to cause further distress to her ageing father, whose last $30,000 was invested with GSI three years ago, the delay only meant more anxiety and concern.

“Without any more information, I’m trying to put it to one side to keep living my life; if there’s nothing left from that investment then we will have to cross that bridge when we pass it,” the Valley woman said.

The extended freeze comes as a number of Gippsland businesses met with members of parliament to discuss a possible bailout package for GSI, with some business leaders already expressing a willingness to buy into GSI’s loan book.

According to a statement on GSI’s website, the exploration of potential avenues to return investors’ monies, which included re-capitalisation, could take “some time” to complete.

GSI informed its 3500 investors on 19 July they would not be able to access or move funds, as it undertook a review of its $150 million loan portfolio, hit by asset write downs on loan securities.