This should be the
time to tiptoe (very gently) back into the murky twilight that exists between
the legal/regulatory profession and markets, but as this column rarely believes
in doing anything gently, we’ll just pile right in. Are ...
Two Australian banks, National Australia Bank and Commonwealth Bank of Australia, have each made a “benefit payment” of AUD 2.5 million after the local regulator, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) found they had inadequate controls to address risks relating to instances of inappropriate conduct in their offshore FX businesses.
ASIC says it identified attempts to manipulate FX fixes, front running and the inappropriate sharing of information by traders at CBA and NAB between 1 January 2008 and 30 June 2013.
ANZ and Westpac have both accepted enforceable undertakings (EU) from the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) relating to control failures in their global FX businesses.
In December, the other two “majors” in Australia, CBA and NAB, each paid AUD 2.5 million after accepting similar charges.
Both ANZ and Westpac will both make a “community benefit payment” of AUD 3 million to support the financial capability of vulnerable people including women experiencing family violence, the elderly and youth at risk, ASIC says.
Following similar settlements from the big four Australian banks, Macquarie Bank has also accepted an enforceable undertaking (EU) from the Australian Securities Investment Commission (ASIC) in relation to the bank’s FX businesses.
Following an investigation, the regulator says it is concerned that the bank failed to ensure that its systems and controls were adequate to address risks relating to instances of inappropriate conduct identified by ASIC.
This settlement means that the top five Australian banks have all agreed to EUs from ASIC relating to their FX business.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has released a report to coincide with the FX Global Code of Conduct which seeks to redress shortcomings in behaviour as well as to outline good practice on spot FX desks in the Australian market.
The report, which was compiled following an investigation into local banks’ practices and led to fines against the top five Australian banks, says, “We observed a lack of appropriate training and guidance, particularly in relation to handling confidential information, considering client interests and conflicts of interest, and executing stop loss and fix orders. Training sessions were rarely specific or tailored to the role of employees operating in the spot FX market. We also observed that employees frequently engaged in practices which were learned from their peers without question or challenge.”
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) have jointly welcomed the publication of new guidelines for the setting of the local interest rate benchmark, the Bank Bill Swap Rate (BBSW).
A major concern over recent years has been the low trading volumes during the rate set window, the time of day that BBSW is measured. In response, the BBSW methodology is being strengthened to enable the benchmark to be calculated directly from a wider set of market transactions.
In a brief statement today, ANZ has announced it has reached a confidential in-principle agreement with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to settle court action relating to the Australian interbank BBSW market.
ANZ, along with NAB and Westpac, has been charged by ASIC in respect of allegations it attempted to manipulate the local interest rate benchmark setting process – the Bank Bill Swap Rate.
The bank has not said how much it has agreed to pay, nor whether it is admitting guilt.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has expressed disappointment at the failure of National Australia Bank to fully implement a reform programme linked to an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) levied by ASIC after deficiencies were found in the bank's wholesale spot FX business.
NAB, along with the other major Australian banks, were fined by ASIC in December 2016 for a series of failures in their FX businesses, including attempts at front running orders, manipulating fixes and inappropriately sharing confidential information.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has called on participants in the retail OTC derivatives sector to improve their practices after recent ASIC activities showed their conduct “fell short of expectations”.
The products offered by retail OTC derivatives issuers in Australia include binary options, margin foreign exchange and contracts for difference.
ASIC says that a recent review of 57 retail derivative issuers identified a number of risks associated with the products offered to retail investors by OTC derivatives issuers.
Regulatory reporting technology provider Cappitech says it has expanded its integrated reporting solution to CME Group’s Australian Trade Repository (ATR). The firm says the move provides investment firms with automation technology to comply with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission’s (ASIC) Derivative Reporting requirements.
Cappitech’s currently cooperates with CME Group on the latter’s European Trade Repository (ETR) that supports EMIR reporting. The firm says that since 2016, over 500 million trades have been submitted to the ETR through its reporting platform.
NEX Regulatory Reporting has launched a new solution for derivatives transaction and position reporting under the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) OTC derivatives trade reporting requirements.The ASIC solution expands the firm’s global reporting coverage and provides Australian firms and international companies trading in Australia, with a full end-to-end transaction reporting solution to both licensed trade repositories.
ASIC introduced OTC derivatives trade reporting in 2013 to improve risk management and enhance transparency in the OTC derivatives market - it was phased-in between 2013-2015.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is to further investigate the use of last look in foreign exchange markets.
ASIC commissioner Cathy Armour told a conference this week that while the regulator accepts that last look may help facilitate a liquidity provider’s legitimate risk management, it also introduces the potential to exploit confidential client trading intentions and to otherwise treat clients unfairly.
The regulator says it will also conduct more sets of on site reviews of local banks' foreign exchange businesses.
In this week’s podcast, Galen Stops lights the blue touchpaper and steps back to watch the fireworks by asking Colin Lambert about not only the Benchmark Fix, more specifically the research paper published this week, but last look as well following the news that a regional regulator is investigating the practice. Just to add to the mix, he also gets him going on another Lambert favourite, tracking error.
They also discuss the FX Global Code and fintechs and ask, ‘should they be adhering and signing up to the Code?’ and Lambert shares some reader feedback on this week’s opinion piece on FX options brokerage.
An Australian court has sentenced former Sydney-based Deutsche Bank FX options and futures trader Andrew Donaldson to 18 months imprisonment after he pled guilty to falsifying entries in Deutsche’s internal financial records and systems.
Donaldson pleaded guilty to one charge of using his position dishonestly with the intention of directly or indirectly gaining an advantage for himself, however the sentence was fully suspended and he was released on his own recognisance with a condition to be of good behaviour for two years and a security sum of AUD 10,000.