Federal Court hands down judgment in rate-rigging case

Justice Jonathan Beach of the Federal Court of Australia today handed down his judgment in the case brought by Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) against Westpac.

ASIC had brought proceedings against ANZ, NAB and Westpac for attempting to fiddle the Bank Bill Swap Rate (BBSW) by artificial trading. ASIC alleged that the fiddling was aimed at pushing the rate in a direction that would enable the bank to gain in contracts which had to be settled contingent upon the rate of that particular day. ANZ and NAB settled with ASIC; but Westpac continued to fight. Justice Beach found that Westpac had acted unconscionably on four occasions.

Frontier Economics advised ASIC during the course of the litigation.

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