Article: Westpac Probed by Regulator on Insider Trading Allegations

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Westpac Probed by Regulator on Insider Trading Allegations

Nabila Ahmed, 05 May 2021

Australia’s securities regulator is probing Westpac Banking Corp. on allegations of insider trading, just months after the country’s second-biggest lender paid a record fine to settle breaches of anti-money laundering laws.

The allegations relate to Westpac’s role in executing a A$12 billion ($9.3 billion) interest-rate swap transaction with a consortium of AustralianSuper Pty Ltd. and a group of IFM entities in October 2016, according to a statement on Wednesday from the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. Continue reading “Article: Westpac Probed by Regulator on Insider Trading Allegations”

Article: Asic accuses Westpac of insider trading over $12bn Ausgrid privatisation deal

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Asic accuses Westpac of insider trading over $12bn Ausgrid privatisation deal

Ben Butler, 05 May 2021

The corporate regulator has taken legal action accusing Westpac of insider trading over a $12bn interest rate swap linked to the part-privatisation in 2016 of New South Wales’s electricity distribution network, Ausgrid.

In a federal court lawsuit filed on Wednesday, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission accused Westpac of using inside information to trade in interest rate derivatives during the two hours before it executed the swap, which was the largest in Australian history.

It is the latest regulatory blow for the big bank, which in September last year agreed to pay a record $1.3bn fine to settle legal action over money laundering and child exploitation allegations levelled against it by the financial intelligence agency, Austrac.

Westpac also has recent form in the area of market manipulation – in 2018, the federal court found it had engaged in “serious and unacceptable” conduct by attempting to fix an interest rate benchmark, and fined it $3.3m, which was the maximum available under the law at the time.

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