Citigroup, Deutsche and ANZ hit with cartel charges

Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, ANZ, and a number of their senior executives have been charged with criminal cartel offences by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), following an investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

The charges lay out that ANZ and each of the charged individuals were knowingly concerned in some or all the alleged cartel conduct regarding trading in ANZ shares held by Deutsche and Citigroup following an ANZ institutional share placement in August 2015.

The senior executives charged were John McLean, Itay Tuchman and Stephen Roberts of Citigroup, Michael Ormaechea and Michael Richardson formerly of Deutsche Bank, and Rick Moscati of ANZ.

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ACCC chair, Rod Sims, said the charges were the result of an investigation by the Commission that spanned over two years. They follow an announcement last week that the Commonwealth DPP was intending to commence proceedings against the above parties.

The matter was listed before the Downing Centre Local Court on 3 July, 2018. The trial would proceed by way of indictment before the Federal Court or a Supreme Court though, as required by the Competition and Consumer Act.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) was also investigating the ANZ share placement to determine whether an announcement by the bank in August 2015 should have stated that the joint lead managers took up approximately 0.91 per cent of the total shares on issue at the time.

The ACCC would not be commenting further as the matter was now before the courts.

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