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Australian regulator to lay criminal cartel charges on ANZ, Deutsche Bank, Citigroup

BBR Staff Writer Published 01 June 2018

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is expected to place criminal cartel charges on financial institutions, including ANZ, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup Global Markets Australia.

The ACCC confirmed that criminal cartel charges will be laid by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) against ANZ, ANZ Group Treasurer Rick Moscati, two other companies and multiple other individuals.

The companies will be prosecuted over allegations of selling A$2.5bn ($1.9bn) worth shares in 2015.

Following an investigation by the ACCC, the charges would be laid against companies and individuals.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said: “The charges will involve alleged cartel arrangements relating to trading in ANZ shares following an ANZ institutional share placement in August 2015.

“It will be alleged that ANZ and the individuals were knowingly concerned in some or all of the conduct.”

The ACCC inquires cartel conduct, manages the immunity process, as well as takes proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia in respect of civil cartel contraventions.

The CDPP will take responsibility for prosecuting criminal cartel offences, as per the Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth.

In addition, the ACCC said that it not make any further comment until charges are laid.

The ACCC is said to refer serious cartel conduct to the CDPP for consideration of prosecution, as per the memorandum of understanding between the CDPP and the ACCC regarding serious cartel conduct.

The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, which is commonly known as ANZ, offers a range of personal banking and business financial solutions.

Deutsche Bank is a German banking and financial services firm, which offers private banking, business banking, insurance, investment, wealth management and loan services.

Citigroup is an American multinational investment bank and financial services firm, which was formed by the merger of banking firm  Citicorp and financial conglomerate Travelers Group in 1998.

Image: ACCC chairman Rod Sims. Photo: courtesy of Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.