Brokerage firm Merrill Lynch Equities has paid a penalty to comply with an infringement notice issued by ASIC’s Markets Disciplinary Panel.
According to an ASIC statement, the company received the infringement notice and $140,000 penalty after the Markets Disciplinary Panel (MDP) found it breached a number of ASIC Market Integrity Rules.
The MDP found that Merrill Lynch Equities had executed orders contrary to their wholesale clients’ instructions to opt out of the business’ ‘best execution’ rule, failed to conduct adequate periodic reviews to ensure it complied with those instructions, entered transactions without clients instructing them to do so and failed to allow clients to opt out of the company’s crossing systems.
The contraventions occurred between July 2014 and April 2016, ASIC said, and the company “failed to undertake adequate remedial action to prevent ongoing breaches” despite the regulator issuing a warning letter during that period.
“The MDP found that MLEA's conduct was careless and there was no suggestion that MLEA intended to mislead its clients,” ASIC said.