The Australian Securities and Investments
Commission’s (Asic) sweeping campaign against
benchmark manipulation has been called into question.
Asic has filed court proceedings against ANZ, in March and
Westpac, on April 5, for their alleged manipulation of the
Bank-Bill Reference Rate (BBSW), which sets the price of
interest-rate derivatives, commercial loans and deposits.
But counsel in Australia argue that evidence has yet to
emerge that points to external manipulation of the BBSW by the
two banks, which are members of the Australian Financial
Markets Association (Afma).
"We don’t know whether the Afma-administered
bank bill market was manipulated. At the moment, there is a
question mark here which will be addressed in the proceedings,"
John Samaha, litigation partner at Allen & Overy.
The allegations date back to alleged manipulative activity
on the BBSW between 2010 and 2012. This preceded...