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ANZ cartel case has Australian banking in further turmoil

Australia is used to regulatory and reputational calamity, but a case against ANZ, Citi and Deutsche has taken a more personal turn.


The threat of criminal charges has turned a three-year-old ANZ share placement from being just another reputational headache in Australian banking to something that has bankers seriously alarmed.

On Friday, two separate regulatory groups announced proceedings related to a A$2.5 billion ($1.9 billion) share placement by ANZ on August 7, 2015, a placement underwritten by Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan.

In the most serious of the two proceedings, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) alleges cartel conduct among the joint lead managers, regarding “an arrangement or understanding allegedly made between the joint lead managers in relation to the supply of ANZ shares,” according to a statement from ANZ itself.

Rick Moscati 160x186
Rick Moscati, ANZ

This will include proceedings against individuals, including ANZ group treasurer Rick Moscati, former Citi Australia country head Stephen Roberts and former Deutsche Australia CEO Michael Ormaechea.

In addition, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission is looking into the announcement that followed the placement, and specifically is investigating whether or not the announcement should have stated that the joint lead managers took up around 25.5