Major bank to settle rate rigging case with ASIC

A big four bank has reached an in-principle agreement with the corporate watchdog to settle a court action relating to alleged manipulation of the Australian bank bill swap rate.

Lawyers representing ASIC told the Federal Court in Melbourne on Monday (23 October) that ANZ has reached a confidential, in-principle agreement with the regulator to settle court action relating to the bank bill swap rate (BBSW) market.

ASIC commenced legal proceedings against ANZ in March 2016 relating to “unconscionable conduct and market manipulation” relating to Australia’s interbank rate, the BBSW.

The corporate regulator initiated similar proceedings against Westpac and NAB in April and June 2016, respectively.

Lawyers for ASIC asked the court on Monday to stand down the trial for 48 hours (with ANZ’s consent) to hammer out the details of the settlement.

A statement by ANZ said that the financial impact will be reflected in the 2017–18 financial year results and are “largely covered” by the provisioning held as at 31 March 2017.

The Fairfax press has suggested that the ANZ settlement will be in the range of $50 million to $70 million.

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