NAB has done a $50 million deal to settle manipulation of interest rates allegations

Photo: Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images

The NAB has joined the ANZ Bank in settling the bank bill swap rate (BBSW) legal action with corporate regulator ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission).

The settlement, subject to Federal Court approval, leaves just Westpac facing legal action over alleged manipulation of the BBSW, a key interest determining the pricing of billions of dollars of loans across the economy.

The deal involves NAB admitting that its employees engaged in unconscionable conduct 12 times in the BBSW market in 2010 and 2011.

NAB has agreed to a $10 million penalty and to pay ASIC’s costs of $20 million. NAB will also make a donation of $20 million to a financial consumer protection fund nominated by ASIC.

The impact of the settlement will be reflected in NAB’s 2017 financial year results due to be announced on Friday.

“We accept that we did not meet the high standards of professional conduct that ASIC, the community and NAB expects of itself, in that market during that period,” says CEO Andrew Thorburn.

NAB and ASIC will make an application to the Federal Court for approval of the settlement.

The NAB last week announced a confidential in-principle agreement with ASIC. The ANZ did not give further details, including any financial penalty.

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