A local division of a French banking giant has pleaded guilty to client money offences, as the second company this year to face criminal prosecution over the breaches.
Societe Generale Securities Australia pleaded guilty to four separate counts which occurred between 2014 and 2017, at the Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney.
ASIC reported the local arm of the French banking group is the second company in 2020 in Australia to face criminal prosecution for breaching client money provisions, which aim to protect the interests of licensee clients by ensuring money is kept in authorised accounts.
Societe Generale Securities Australia pleaded guilty to two counts of breaching s993B(1) by receiving money in connection with financial services, and then failing to pay that money into an account that satisfied the client money requirements within the Corporations Act.
It also pleaded guilty to two counts breaching s993C(1) through making payments out of a client money account that were not permitted by reg 7.8.02 of the Corporations Regulations.
Each offence carries a maximum penalty of 250 penalty units (approximately $45,000).
“These types of offences are regarded as serious misconduct and have been legislated in order to protect investors and enhance the confidence and integrity in Australia’s financial markets,” ASIC stated.
In addition to the guilty plea, as a result of investigation by the corporate regulator, Societe Generale has accepted additional license conditions imposed by ASIC.
The matter has been listed for sentence on 21 September.
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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