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CBA to pay $20m in penalties for BBSW manipulation

The Commonwealth Bank will pay $20 million after it entered an EU with the corporate regulator over a plot to manipulate the bank bill swap rate.

In a statement, ASIC said the major bank will pay $15 million in community benefit payments, and $5 million to cover ASIC’s investigation and legal costs, after already paying $5 million in pecuniary penalties to the Melbourne Federal Court earlier this year.

This EU follows an in-principle agreement the bank reached with ASIC to settle the proceedings.

The major bank will also be engaging the services of an independent expert to assess changes CBA has made and will make to its "policies, procedures, systems, controls, training, guidance and framework for the monitoring and supervision of employees and trading" relating to prime bank bills.

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"CBA also admitted that it failed to do all things necessary to ensure that they provided financial services honestly and fairly and that its traders were adequately trained," the ASIC statement said.

Melbourne Federal Court's Justice David Beach said the $25 million penalty "should be an adequate denouncement of and deterrence against the unacceptable trading behaviour of individuals within CBA that ought to have known better and a bank that ought to have better supervised its personnel".

ASIC has also brought proceedings against the other major banks for manipulating the bank bill swap rate.

NAB and ANZ have both reached a settlement with ASIC for a collective total of $50 million.

Westpac has dodged the rate rigging charges altogether despite being found out for engaging in unconscionable conduct.

CBA to pay $20m in penalties for BBSW manipulation
EU, Enforceable undertaking, commonwealth bank, commbank, CBA, bank bill swap rate, BBSW, ASIC
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