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ANZ, Macquarie Bank named in rate probe

An ANZ spokesman says the bank fully co-operated in the Singapore investigation. Source: AAP An ANZ spokesman says the bank fully co-operated in the Singapore investigation. Source: AAP
ANZ Banking Group and Macquarie Bank will have to set aside up to $S300 million ($250 million) each after being caught up in Singapore's rate-rigging scandal.

 

The ANZ yesterday also revealed two of its Singapore-based traders had to hand back bonuses after "inappropriate" communications were discovered as a part of the investigation. No staff from the Australian banks have been sacked in the investigation.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore claimed 133 traders from 20 banks had been involved in attempts to manipulate benchmark interest rates.

The claims centre around the rigging of the rate at which banks lend cash to each other, including the Singapore interbank offered rate, swap offered rates and currency benchmarks.

ANZ and Macquarie will both have to contribute between $S100 million ($83 million) and $S300 million ($250 million) with the Monetary Authority of Singapore at a zero-interest rate for a year.

ANZ is believed to have paid $S300 million.

Heavier offenders, such as UBS, ING and Royal Bank of Scotland will have to plough between $S1 billion and $S1.2 billion into the central bank.

Macquarie was the only financial institution that was not a "contributing bank" to the setting of the rates, but was still caught up in the practice.

An ANZ spokesman said the bank fully co-operated in the investigation and had commissioned an independent review of rates submissions and "associated communications".

The spokesman said while the Singaporean regulator's review had found no conclusive evidence benchmarks were successfully manipulated, they found "the conduct of a number of traders at banks lacked professional ethics".

"ANZ identified certain inappropriate communications and behaviour that contravened ANZ's code of conduct," the spokesman said.

"No one has been dismissed, however, appropriate disciplinary action has been taken with a small number of staff."

ANZ said the cash impost set by the Singaporean authority would not have a material liquidity impact on its operations in that country. The complex system involves banks individually submitting rates, which are then averaged to set the official rate.

The year-long review by the Monetary Authority of Singapore found the 20 banks had deficiencies in the governance, risk management, internal controls and surveillance systems for their involvement in benchmark submissions.

Author: Jeff Whalley       
Source: Herald Sun
Last modified onThursday, 09 January 2014 05:21

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