Powered by MOMENTUM MEDIA
realestatebusiness logo

Subscribe to our newsletter

ANZ fine ‘up to a court’, says ASIC

ASIC has alleged ANZ engaged in a series of rate rigging contraventions over 44 days, with each carrying a penalty of $1 million, but the amount of any fine is ultimately "up to a court", says the regulator.

A panel of ASIC executives appeared before the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services on Wednesday evening.

Labor Senator Deborah O'Neill asked ASIC commissioner Cathy Armour about discussions between ASIC and ANZ concerning the bank's alleged manipulation of the bank bill swap rate (BBSW) prior to the regulator's announcement that it would be taking legal action.

"Any discussions about legal proceedings are confidential and so it’s probably not appropriate to go into the details of those sorts of discussions," Ms Armour said.
"But generally we are open to working with organisations to consider whether or not there’s a more efficient way to resolve a matter than a lengthy court proceeding," she said.

Ms O'Neill asked ASIC chairman Greg Medcraft how the regulator weighs up whether it should accept a settlement or incur the costs of a lengthy court case.

Advertisement
Advertisement

"We generally don’t want to go to court unless we have to. But clearly we have to prosecute the law," Mr Medcraft said.

"And if you look at the case of this one there have been 44 days [of contraventions] and there’s a maximum [penalty] under the law so you speculate what that penalty maximum might be," he said.

Mr Medcraft pointed to ASIC's enforceable undertakings for UBS in December 2013 and BNP Paribas in January 2014, under which both banks agreed to contribute $1 million to fund independent financial literacy projects.

Ms Armour noted that, with the exception of the infringement notices regime, ASIC does not have the power to fine companies.

"It is the court that has the fining power. So generally irrespective of whether there’s an agreed outcome or a contested outcome it will be up to a court to determine what is the nature of the penalty given the nature of the contraventions we have discussed," Ms Armour said.

Ms Armour added that there is a fine for each contravention of the BBSW rules.

"For the unconscionable conduct it is $1.1 million per offence. And market manipulation is $1 million per offence," she said.

"There have been 44 days of contravention. It’s quite complex because there could be a number of contraventions on a day," Ms Armour said.

[Related: ASIC takes major bank to court]

ANZ fine ‘up to a court’, says ASIC
mortgagebusiness

Latest News

The brokerage has teamed with the fintech, for the launch of a new app that will let borrowers compare pricing and environmental impact acro...

The desire to secure a mortgage has collapsed across the country, according to a new analysis from Equifax. ...

The Reserve Bank will be closely watching how households respond to higher rates as it decides its next move, ANZ senior economists have sai...

VIEW ALL

Join Australia's most informed brokers

Do you know which lenders are providing brokers and their customers with the best service?

Use this monthly data to make informed decisions about which lenders to use. Simply contribute to the survey and we'll send you the results directly to your inbox - completely free!

What is the maximum proportion of income borrowers should use to service a mortgage?

Website Notifications

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