ANZ Bank & Group Treasurer Facing Criminal Cartel Prosecution
UPDATE – The ACCC has advised Deutsche Bank AG and Citigroup Global Markets Australia are the “two other companies” set to face charges.
The ACCC has announced it expects criminal cartel charges to be laid against ANZ, ANZ Group Treasurer Rick Moscati, “two other companies” and “a number of other individuals” by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP). The charges concern a $2.5 billion share placement in 2015.
Rod Sims, ACCC Chairman, asserts “it will be alleged that ANZ and the individuals were knowingly concerned in some or all of the conduct.”
The criminal charges allege cartel arrangements made during an underwritten, institutional equity share placement in August 2015.
The ACCC has advised it will not be making any further comment until charges are laid.
In a statement, ANZ Chief Risk Officer, Kevin Corbally, asserts the bank “acted in accordance with the law in relation to the placement”, and has decided to “defend both the company and our employee”.
Published in an ASX-statement Friday morning, ANZ claims it was advised of the CDPP’s intention to commence criminal proceedings late Thursday “for being knowingly concerned in alleged cartel conduct by the joint lead managers”.
“The proceedings relate to an arrangement or understanding allegedly made between the joint lead managers in relation to the supply of ANZ shares,” claims ANZ.
ANZ has advised it’s also cooperating with ASIC’s investigation over the placement of about 80.8 million shares.
ASIC is querying whether ANZ’s August 2015 announcement should have advised joint lead managers would take around 25.5 million shares of the placement – around 0.91% of total shares on issue at the time.