Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions charges ANZ, Citi and Deutsche Bank with criminal cartel offences

Maria Nikolova

The charges involve alleged cartel arrangements relating to trading in ANZ shares held by Deutsche Bank and Citigroup.

A followup to the FinanceFeeds’ article from last week about a number of major banks facing criminal cartel charges in Australia…

Today, it has become clear that Citigroup Global Markets Australia Pty Limited (Citigroup), Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft (Deutsche Bank) and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ) have been charged with criminal cartel offences following an investigation by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Criminal charges have also been laid against several senior executives: John McLean, Itay Tuchman and Stephen Roberts of Citigroup; Michael Ormaechea and Michael Richardson formerly of Deutsche Bank; and Rick Moscati of ANZ.

The charges involve alleged cartel arrangements relating to trading in ANZ shares held by Deutsche Bank and Citigroup. ANZ and each of the individuals are alleged to have been knowingly concerned in some or all of the alleged conduct. The cartel conduct is alleged to have taken place following an ANZ institutional share placement in August 2015.

“These serious charges are the result of an ACCC investigation that has been running for more than two years,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said. “Charges have now been laid by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions and the matter will be determined by the Court.”

The matter is listed before the Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney on July 3, 2018.

In its statement on the matter last week, ANZ said it was also co-operating with ASIC’s investigation into the matter. ASIC is investigating whether ANZ’s announcement date August 7, 2015, should have stated that the joint lead managers took up approximately 25.5 million shares of the placement. This represented about 0.91% of total shares on issue at that time.

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