Australian bank reinstates traders still under legal cloud

An Australian bank chief executive told a parliamentary committee that traders implicated in market manipulation allegations were suspended then reinstated without the accusations being judged by a court.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the financial regulator, is suing the ANZ Banking Group in the Federal Court for unconscionable conduct and market manipulation in relation to ANZ's involvement in setting the bank bill swap reference rate from 2010 to 2012. The bank has denied the allegations.

ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliott told the House Standing Committee on Economics on Wednesday that the bank reinstated the suspended traders because an internal investigation found they had done nothing wrong. The rate sets the price of business between banks and other institutions. Rigging the rate can increase profits for both banks and traders.