An investment manager has been hit with criminal charges related to handling client money.
Societe Generale Securities Australia faced charges in the Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney on Tuesday, including two counts of failing to pay client money into segregated authorised bank accounts and two counts of failing to comply with requirements relating to a client money bank account. ASIC alleged that between December 2014 and September 2018, the company failed to comply with client money obligations, in contravention of criminal offence provisions under sections 993B(1) and 993C(1) of the Corporations Act 2001.
Under the act, an AFS license holder must ensure that client money is paid into a client money account. They are only permitted to make payments out of the account as specified by the Corporations Regulations.
The maximum penalty for each of the charges is 250 penalty units, approximately $45,000.
“Client money provisions protect the interests of clients of Australian financial services (AFS) licensees by separating client money from money belonging to licensees,” ASIC said in a statement.
“Breaching client money provisions is serious misconduct and risks undermining investor confidence.”
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter.
It has been adjourned for a case management hearing on 12 May.
French investment bank Societe Generale has been in Australia since 1981.
It provides financial services in equity derivative sales, prime services and clearing, and provides a range of financial products including ASX24 futures and options and OTC (“over-the-counter”) derivatives.
The investment manager serves wholesale clients, including financial institutions, hedge funds, asset managers, and various corporate clients.
Sarah Simpkins is a journalist at Momentum Media, reporting primarily on banking, financial services and wealth.
Prior to joining the team in 2018, Sarah worked in trade media and produced stories for a current affairs program on community radio.
You can contact her on [email protected].
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