Citi, Deutsche Bank, ANZ served with criminal cartel charges in Australia

The market had been waiting for details of the charges against Australia and New Zealand Banking Group since the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission flagged them on Friday. (Reuters)
Updated 05 June 2018
0

Citi, Deutsche Bank, ANZ served with criminal cartel charges in Australia

BENGALURU: Australia’s competition regulator on Tuesday said criminal charges had been laid against Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd, a local unit of Citigroup and Deutsche Bank relating to cartel offenses over a $2.3 billion share issue.
Criminal charges have also been laid against several senior executives, including ANZ Treasurer Rick Moscati and Citigroup’s John McLean and Itay Tuchman. Former executives, including Citigroup’s Stephen Roberts and Deutsche Bank’s Michael Ormaechea and Michael Richardson, were also charged, the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) said in a statement.
The market had been waiting for details of the charges against ANZ and underwriters of the 2015 stock placement, Deutsche and Citigroup, since the ACCC flagged them on Friday.
All three banks on Friday denied wrongdoing and said they would defend the charges. Citigroup said the regulator was effectively criminalizing practices long seen as the norm in the financial industry.
The charges, which can carry hefty fines and 10-year prison terms, could lead to changes in the way institutional capital raisings are handled, and do further damage to the reputation of Australian lenders already mired in scandal.
The placement was made when Australian banks were under pressure to meet new capital requirements, which prompted ANZ and the country’s biggest bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia , to raise a combined A$8 billion in a single week.


Former Nissan chairman Ghosn appears in Tokyo court

Updated 23 May 2019
0

Former Nissan chairman Ghosn appears in Tokyo court

  • It is the first of a series of hearings to iron out logistics for Carlos Ghosn’s actual trial
  • Nissan’s former chairman has hired a strong legal team as he fights to clear his name

TOKYO: Nissan’s former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, appeared in a Japanese courtroom Thursday for a hearing ahead of his trial on accusations of financial misconduct.
It was the first of a series of hearings to iron out logistics for Ghosn’s actual trial. The trial date has not been set, and experts say it could be months away.
Ghosn, who led the Japanese automaker for two decades, was arrested in November and charged with underreporting his income and breach of trust. He was released on bail in March, rearrested in April on fresh accusations and then released again on bail on April 25.
Ghosn insists he is innocent and says he was targeted in a “conspiracy” by others at Nissan Motor Co.
Nissan, which is allied with Renault of France, has seen profits nose-dive amid the fallout from Ghosn’s arrest.
Ghosn has hired a strong legal team as he fights to clear his name. One of his top lawyers, Junichiro Hironaka, was seen walking into the courtroom Thursday with Ghosn.
One of the conditions of Ghosn’s release on bail is that he is forbidden to contact his wife. Prosecutors say that’s to prevent evidence tampering.
Ghosn’s lawyers challenged that restriction, saying it is a violation of human rights, but the Supreme Court rejected their appeal Tuesday.
The lawyers can appeal again to have the restriction removed.
In a briefing Thursday, Deputy Chief Prosecutor Shin Kukimoto welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision.
“For married people to be together is important, but I feel there was enough reason for the Supreme Court to support us in this restriction,” he said.
Kukimoto declined comment on the hearing, which was closed to reporters and the public.
Kukimoto also said the maximum penalty upon conviction of all 15 counts of the charges Ghosn is facing is 15 years in prison and a fine of ¥150 million ($1.4 million).