Macquarie Bank and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group agreed to pay a combined $11m in penalties after admitting to attempted cartel conduct relating to the setting of a benchmark Malaysian rate in 2011.
Bloomberg News reports that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said in a statement Friday that ANZ had admitted to 10 instances of alleged cartel conduct and Macquarie to eight. They offered to pay $6.7m and $4.46m in penalties respectively, the ACCC said.
The case involved Singapore-based traders for the two banks and others communicating via private online chat rooms about daily submissions on the Malaysian ringgit fixing rate to be made to the Association of Banks in Singapore, the regulator said. The settlement stems from a wider probe by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, which censured 20 banks -- including ANZ and Macquarie -- in 2013 for trying to rig benchmark interest rates.
“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,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said in the statement.
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