Thousands of investors who used the failed online broker Halifax are one step closer to seeing the millions of dollars they are owed.

Halifax liquidators are seeking a ruling from Australia’s Federal Court ruling allowing it to collaborate with the New Zealand High Court so investors on both sides of the Tasman can have money refunded.

About 12,000 investors in New Zealand and Australia are owed $220 million.

Online accounts holding their funds were frozen late last year when Halifax collapsed.

There is a shortfall of about $20m after investors’ funds were mingled and used to keep the business afloat, to liquidators KPMG Australia.

KPMG’s Morgan Kelly said it needed the courts to decide how to distribute the remaining funds to investors fairly and the ruling had to be the same in both jurisdictions – Australia and New Zealand.

A Federal Court judgement delivered last week said Halifax was a classic case for cross-border cooperation between courts.

Kelly said it would start proceedings in a New Zealand court within the two weeks.

Meanwhile, the liquidators have received court approval to spend $A12.8m to cover the cost of maintaining Halifax’s online investor platforms, and other trading expenses.

This article was originally published on RNZ and re-published with permission.

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