Aussie banks ad­mit to ring­git car­tel

The Myanmar Times - - International / Business -

AUS­TRALIAN banks ANZ and Mac­quarie have agreed to pay US$11 mil­lion in fines for try­ing to ma­nip­u­late the bench­mark rate of the Malaysian ring­git.

ANZ ad­mit­ted to 10 in­stances of at­tempted car­tel con­duct and Mac­quarie to eight re­lat­ing to set­ting the daily rates for de­riv­a­tive in­stru­ments linked to Malaysia’s cur­rency in 2011.

The Aus­tralian Com­pe­ti­tion and Con­sumer Com­mis­sion (ACCC) said both had co­op­er­ated with in­ves­ti­ga­tions, with ANZ agree­ing to a A$9 mil­lion penalty and Mac­quarie A$6 mil­lion.

The case in­volved Sin­ga­pore-based traders com­mu­ni­cat­ing via pri­vate on­line chat rooms about daily sub­mis­sions on the ring­git fix­ing rate to be made to the As­so­ci­a­tion of Banks in Sin­ga­pore.

“These pro­ceed­ings are a re­minder that Aus­tralian car­tel laws ap­ply to financial markets, and cap­ture car­tel con­duct by firms that carry on business in Aus­tralia, re­gard­less of where that con­duct oc­curred,” said ACCC chair Rod Sims.

“The ACCC recog­nises the in­tegrity of for­eign ex­change markets plays a fun­da­men­tal role in our mar­ket econ­omy.”

The Fed­eral Court needs to de­ter­mine if the penal­ties are ap­pro­pri­ate.

ANZ said in a state­ment the three ANZ traders in­volved no longer worked for the com­pany.

Mac­quarie said one ju­nior em­ployee, who no longer worked for the bank, was in­volved.

“Since Mac­quarie be­came aware of the mat­ter and as the ACCC notes, it has sig­nif­i­cantly strength­ened its ecom­mu­ni­ca­tion surveil­lance glob­ally, im­proved trade mon­i­tor­ing and in­ten­si­fied train­ing for its front of­fice staff,” it said. –

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