A busy time at the Packer Empire’s Crown Casino in May. At the start of
the month, there’s the Logies – where all the glitter and glamour
associated with our shallowest industry will be on display – and at
the end of the month there’s the annual conference of the Securities and Derivatives Industry Association
where the biggest issue will be ASIC and its Citigroup legal
action.

That
action, revealed a week ago today, is in the Federal Court in a fortnight’s time
so the SDIA conference will have a full background for
discussion. And if
anyone isn’t up with things, the man running the case at ASIC, Deputy Chairman
Jeremy Cook, is listed as a speaker. His
topic, now pregnant with meaning, is entitled “Managing Conflicts in the
Financial Services Industry”.

It’s on
the first morning of the conference, 26 May, and he’s on a panel discussion
immediately after the end of the final speech in the first session. Now that
will be an interesting session to attend to see if any investment bankers or their
legal eagles pipe up to ask questions about the meaning
of the Citigroup case.

No one
from Citigroup is there, but several other big investment banks – Merrill’s,
Macquarie and Credit Suisse – are all listed to
produce senior executives to speak, as is the ASX, who will have two of its
senior market supervisors there, as well as its CEO Tony D’Aloisio.

Dealers, brokers etc. attending the conference can earn
some of the required 25 hours a year they need in development work and study to
keep their accreditation current (maintain their licence might be a better way of describing
it).

The
compliance part of the Citigroup claims by ASIC haven’t been looked at in the
media, nor have the PS146 issues, the most crucial document that any broker,
financial planner or other market participant involved in recommending shares or
trading them has to pass and fully understand. PS
stands for policy statement and the PS146 course is aligned with the
requirements of ASIC’s Policy Statement 146:
Licensing: Training of Financial Product Advisers.

ASIC is
not going individuals, just Citigroup, in its action. But what is so far not clear is
whether Citigroup had a compliance officer who is supposed to check that every
one complies with the requirements of PS146 and all other relevant regulations
and the Corporations Act.

From what
has so far been disclosed it would appear there was no involvement by
Citigroup’s compliance officers in the activities of the Citigroup proprietary
dealing team on one side of the “Chinese Wall” and the management and others in
the bank on the other side with knowledge of the Toll bid that was about to be
launched.

Peter Fray

Ending soon: Save up to 50% on a year of Crikey

This extraordinary year is almost at an end. But we know that time waits for no one, and we won’t either. This is the time to get on board with Crikey.

For a limited time only, choose what you pay for a year of Crikey.

Save up to 50% or dig deeper so we can dig deeper.

See you in 2021.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

SAVE 50%