Powered by MOMENTUM MEDIA
subscribe to our newsletter

Westpac to defend rate-rigging allegations

Westpac says it will “vigorously defend” ASIC’s allegations that it manipulated the bank bill swap rate (BBSW) after the regulator commenced court proceedings against the lender.

ASIC said on Tuesday it had commenced legal proceedings in the Federal Court in Melbourne against Westpac for “unconscionable conduct and market manipulation” in relation to its involvement in setting the BBSW between 6 April 2010 and 6 June 2012.

The corporate regulator alleged that Westpac traded in a manner intended to create an artificial price for bank bills on 16 occasions during the period.

“ASIC alleges that on these days Westpac had a large number of products which were priced or valued off BBSW, and that it traded in the bank bill market with the intention of moving the BBSW higher or lower,” ASIC said in a statement.

“ASIC alleges that Westpac was seeking to maximise its profit or minimise its loss to the detriment of those holding opposite positions to Westpac’s.”

Advertisement
Advertisement

PROMOTED CONTENT


The corporate regulator has sought from the court pecuniary penalties against Westpac and an order requiring the bank to implement a compliance program.

Westpac’s group chief financial officer Peter King said the bank will be “vigorously defending” ASIC’s allegations in court.

“We reject the allegations made by ASIC and do not believe Westpac, or any employee, has acted unlawfully in relation to the instances detailed by ASIC,” Mr King said.

“The operation of the interbank short-term money market, as well as bank balance sheet management is highly complex and activity occurs for a range of valid reasons.

“We disagree with ASIC’s interpretation of the communication between employees referred to in the court documents and their assessment of trading activity given the complexity of strategies involved.”

Mr King said Westpac takes conduct very seriously and has fully cooperated with ASIC in its investigation of bank participants and their trading practices relating to the BBSW and had provided more than 12 million Westpac documents for review.

[Related: ‘Plead guilty’ to rate rigging, ASIC warns banks]

Westpac to defend rate-rigging allegations
mortgagebusiness

Latest News

The Reserve Bank has announced its cash rate decision for the month of December, staying in line with market expectations. ...

Demand for housing finance has rebounded significantly from the COVID-19-related slump, while Melbourne auction volumes have overtaken Sydne...

Owner-occupied loans held by ADIs have continued their upward trend over October, particularly at ANZ and CBA, new figures show.   ...

FROM THE WEB

Join a group of highly informed brokers.

Broker Pulse, a community-driven knowledge base of lender performance Reveal exactly which lenders are making life easiest for brokers and their clients by taking this monthly survey and joining a group of highly informed brokers who leverage these insights every month.

JOIN NOW
podcast

LATEST PODCAST: What’s being done to support home building?

Do you expect to see strong uptake of the HomeBuilder scheme?

Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.