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BFCSA: ANZ Interest Rate Rigging problem - off course there is!!!

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ANZ traders stood down over interest rate rigging probe

Banking and Finance

Date November 20, 2014

James Eyres


ANZ Banking Group has stood down seven traders being targeted by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission for possible manipulation of Australia's benchmark interest rate.

The regulator is investigating an extensive period of potential misconduct in the Bank Bill Swap Rate (BBSW) market from early 2007 to 2013.

Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS and BNP Paribas have already been forced to pay fines for their role in manipulating the rate, but this is the first time one of the big four Australian banks has been identified as being involved in potential misconduct.

ASIC is continuing to investigate 10 other members of the 14 member BBSW panel – including the three other big banks –but this is taking a long time and involves the review of millions of documents. ASIC's attention on the BBSW followed widespread manipulation of the London interbank offered rate which is used to set trillions of dollars of debt securities globally.

ANZ said it was "continuing to co-operate" with ASIC, whose inquiries could lead to civil and criminal penalties. "This is a complex issue and ASIC's investigation and ANZ's internal review may not be complete for some time," ANZ chief risk officer Nigel Williams said.

"In light of this, we are taking the precaution of having seven staff involved in markets trading step down pending completion of the investigation into practices to 2013."

"Appropriate conduct is an overriding priority in everything we do at ANZ. We have worked hard to have the right risk culture including ongoing culture and compliance programs in our markets-facing businesses."

Royal Bank of Scotland was forced to pay a $1.6 million fine. Swiss bank UBS and French bank BNP Paribas were fined $1 million .

Before the BBSW rate-setting panel was dismantled in March 2013 and the rate set based on actual market trades, its members were the big four Australian banks, along with

Macquarie Group, Suncorp, Bank of Canada, BNP, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, JP Morgan, Lloyds and UBS.

Australian regulators initially claimed the BBSW was harder to manipulate than Libor because it was set according to actual trades.

The London Inter-Bank Offer scandal which impacted the rates used to set the rate for trillions of dollars of fixed income securities ripped through the industry in 2012 claiming the scalp of Barclays chief Bob Diamond.

Australian regulators initially claimed the local version was much harder to manipulate because it was set according to actual trades. But some analysts have long suspects that the timing and volume of trades may have manipulated settings.

A former trader who didn't want to be identified said the actions of those involved in fixing was ingrained in the way trading desks have operated for more than a decade.

"All of these guys would have had a budget based on their ability to make money on the rate fixings," he said.


"That is set by the institutions and some of the older traders have operated for a long time on that basis and would be shocked that they were pinged . Its a culture that has been endemic in the industry."

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  • Wayne
    Wayne Thursday, 20 November 2014

    ANZ ...AS YOU SEW SO SHALL YOU REAP..... there is heaps more fraud going on at ANZ than everyone relies... but it will surely raise all it's ugly heads, and there is a lot of them, hiding behind their desks with their dogie documents:) ANZ.... we are on to you....

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