ASIC Fines ABN A$130,000

Greg Medcraft ASIC chairman

Greg Medcraft ASIC chairman

On October 30, ASIC announced that ABN AMRO Clearing Sydney Pty Ltd (“ABN AMRO”) had paid a penalty of $130,000 to comply with an infringement notice given to it by the MDP.

By reason of ABN AMRO’s entry of Relevant Orders into the ASX Trading Platform on 4 July 2012, the MDP had reasonable grounds to believe that ABN AMRO contravened Rules 5.6.1, 5.6.3 and 5.9.1 of the ASIC Market Integrity Rules (ASX Market) 2010, and thereby contravened subsection 798H(1) of the Corporations Act which requires compliance with the market integrity rules.

The MDP issued ABN AMRO with an infringement notice specifying a total penalty of $130,000. Consistent with guidance in RG 216, the MDP took various factors into consideration, including that:
• The remedies applied should promote market integrity and confident and informed participation of investors in financial markets;
• MIR 5.6.1 is aimed at ensuring a fair, orderly and transparent trading system, with a strict obligation on Trading Participants which use systems for AOP, to ensure that at all times they have appropriate automated filters and that their AOP systems do not interfere with the efficiency and integrity of the Market or the proper functioning of the Trading Platform;
• MIR 5.6.3 is aimed at promoting confidence in the integrity of the market by ensuring that Participants have adequate organisational and technical resources to ensure AOP systems operate without interfering with the efficiency and integrity of the Market or the proper functioning of the Trading Platform;
• ABN AMRO’s failure had the potential to damage the efficiency and integrity of the Market and to cause substantial damage or loss to third parties;
• MIR 5.9.1 is aimed at ensuring a fair, open and transparent trading system, with a strict obligation on Market Participants not to do anything, which results in a market for a Product not being both fair and orderly. The misconduct had the potential to damage the reputation and integrity of the Market;
• ABN AMRO self-reported the breaches to ASIC and took remedial steps in response to those breaches;
• ABN AMRO did not derive any actual or potential benefit from the breaches;
• Automated filters on the other instances of the AOP system which were used by ABN AMRO to trade Products on the ASX were not rendered inoperative by the missing computer command, and all other automated filters within the AOP system relating to client direct market access automated trading, were also unaffected;
• ABN AMRO co-operated with ASIC throughout its investigation and did not dispute any material facts; and
• ABN AMRO agreed not to contest this matter, thereby saving time and costs that would otherwise have been expended.

Further details of the background of this matter are in MDP Circular 2013/08.

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