West­pac, ANZ to pay A$3m each over mis­con­duct

New Straits Times - - Business -

SYD­NEY: Two of Aus­tralia’s largest banks vowed to toughen over­sight of their for­eignex­change prac­tices and each pay A$3 mil­lion (RM10.2 mil­lion) to the na­tion’s fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy fund af­ter a reg­u­la­tor found in­ap­pro­pri­ate con­duct in their cur­rency trad­ing di­vi­sions.

West­pac Bank­ing Corp and Aus­tralia & New Zealand Bank­ing Group Ltd (ANZ) said yes­ter­day they en­tered into so-called en­force­able un­der­tak­ings with the Aus­tralian Se­cu­ri­ties and In­vest­ments Com­mis­sion to make changes to their for­eignex­change systems, con­trols and su­per­vi­sion.

An en­force­able un­der­tak­ing is an Aus­tralian le­gal de­vice that is some­times used as an al­ter­na­tive to civil ac­tion by the reg­u­la­tor.

The set­tle­ment means Aus­tralia’s four big­gest banks have now been sanc­tioned as part of an in­dus­try-wide in­ves­ti­ga­tion into over­sight fail­ings in their for­eign ex­change di­vi­sions.

Com­mon­wealth Bank of Aus­tralia and Na­tional Aus­tralia Bank Ltd in De­cem­ber un­der­took sim­i­lar un­der­tak­ings and each con­trib­uted A$2.5 mil­lion to the fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy fund for sim­i­lar breaches.

Sep­a­rately, ANZ, West­pac and Na­tional Aus­tralia are de­fend­ing ac­cu­sa­tions that some of their em­ploy­ees ma­nip­u­lated the coun­try’s bench­mark swap rate.

Court hear­ings are slated for Septem­ber. Bloomberg

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