November 10, 2017 / 4:06 AM / 10 days ago

Australian court approves A$50 million ANZ swap rate settlement

(Reuters) - Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ.AX) said on Friday a court had approved its payment of a total of A$50 million (29.23 million pounds) to the securities regulator to settle accusations it had manipulated the bank bill swap rate.

FILE PHOTO - A pedestrian is reflected in the window of a branch of the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) in central Sydney, Australia, October 25, 2017. Picture taken October 25, 2017. REUTERS/Steven Saphore

Under the terms of the settlement with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), ANZ agreed to a A$10 million penalty, a payment of A$20 million to a consumer protection fund and a A$20 million payment toward the regulator’s costs.

The penalties approved by the Federal Court were in line with those imposed on rival National Australia Bank (NAB.AX) last month in the same case.

ANZ reached an agreement last month to settle the case brought by the ASIC.

“We know our customers and the community expect better from us and we apologise for both the attempted unconscionable conduct and our inability to prevent or detect the behaviour,” ANZ Chief Risk Officer Nigel Williams said in a statement.

ASIC accused ANZ, NAB and Westpac Banking Corp (WBC.AX) of engaging in the rigging a key interest rate in their products. Only Westpac chose to defend itself against the allegations.

Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates

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