Banks behaving badly are back in the headlines. Yesterday, the ACCC filed action against Macquarie and ANZ for attempted cartel behaviour on the foreign exchange market in Singapore.
Australia's number one investment bank Macquarie Group and top corporate lender Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) said they offered to pay fines totaling A$15 million ($11 million). The two banks, however, will still face prosecution in Australia over the matter and, potentially, from overseas authorities.
While the allegations centre on trading in 2011, they underline the cultural problems within the banks and make a mockery of big business claims that they just need to explain themselves better.
The bank bosses gave their trading arms freedom, in part, because the divisions were for a while fantastic money generators.
The inherent opacity of the industry has fostered corruption worldwide and fines in the billions have already been paid. But, unless fundamental change is introduced consumers and businesses will remain at a distinct disadvantage.
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