ASIC accuses Westpac (ASX:WBC) of insider trading

Company News

by Michael Luu

Westpac (ASX:WBC) has confirmed awareness of legal action against the corporation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission on account of alleged insider trading.
Westpac Banking Corporation told investors, ““Westpac takes these allegations very seriously and is considering its position”.

The financial regulator has filed a lawsuit against Westpac in the Federal Court, alleging the big-four bank committed insider trading and “unconscionable conduct”.

ASIC claimed that Westpac’s interest hedging process during the $16 billion Ausgrid transaction in 2016 was in violation of the banker’s Australian Financial Services License obligations.

The corporation watchdog believes the bank had gained ahead-of-time access to inside intel that Westpac would be chosen by a consortium of AustralianSuper and IFM to coordinate the interest-swapping project.

ASIC accused Westpac of illegally exploiting this information, ““Whilst in possession of the alleged inside information, Westpac’s traders acquired and disposed of interest rate derivative products in order to pre-position Westpac in anticipation of the execution of the swap transaction”. 

Shares in Westpac (ASX:WBC) are trading 0.4 per cent higher at $26.09

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