SYDNEY May 19 Macquarie Group
inappropriately disclosed confidential information about its
trading activities and clients, Australia's corporate watchdog
said on Friday as part of an investigation into the country's
The Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC)
said Macquarie's banking arm failed to prevent the disclosure of
confidential information to third parties and other
"inappropriate conduct" from 2008-2013.
"Macquarie acknowledges ASIC's concerns relating to certain
aspects of its wholesale spot FX business," Macquarie said in a
statement on its website.
"Macquarie has commenced a programme of work to address
these concerns, which will be reviewed and assessed by an
ASIC-appointed independent consultant."
ASIC has found a series of violations in the banking
industry, as part of its investigations into Commonwealth Bank
, Westpac, ANZ Banking and National
Australia's four major lenders have come under fire
following several scams including misleading financial advice,
insurance fraud and interest-rate rigging, as well as for
refusing to pass on official interest rate cuts in full.
The four together control 80 percent of Australia's lending
market and are extremely profitable.
Following ASIC's findings into the banks' wholesale forex
businesses, the "Big Four" agreed to make voluntary
contributions of a total A$11 million ($8.2 million) to fund
independent financial literacy projects in Australia.
Macquarie will make a voluntary contribution of A$2 million.
In a separate statement on Friday, ASIC said Australia's
"Big Four" banks and AMP, have so far repaid A$60
million in refunds and interest for failing to provide financial
advice to customers while charging them ongoing advice fees.
These institutions' total compensation estimates for advice
delivery failures stand at more than A$204 million, plus
interest, ASIC added.
($1 = 1.3452 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Randy Fabi)