Second bank executive charged over corruption allegations

Ruth Liew, Luke Malpass and Paul Smith at The Sydney Morning Herald report that Police have charged a second banking IT executive for corruptly receiving payments from a supplier.

Police have charged a second banking IT executive, understood to be Commonwealth Bank of Australia technology executive Jon Waldron, with corruptly receiving payments from a supplier.

The 44-year-old man, a New Zealand citizen based in Sydney, presented himself at North Sydney police station on Thursday.

He has been charged with seven counts of “agent acting corruptly to receive benefit”, involving a sum of almost $1.9 million.

The full story is available from The Sydney Morning Herald.

ASIC chief highlights ‘mischief’, ‘abuse’

Clancy Yates at The Sydney Morning Herald reports on ASIC chief Greg Medcraft’s comments highlighting “mischief” and “abuse” in reporting of misconduct.

ASIC chairman Greg Medcraft says there is widespread “mischief” and even “abuse” in how financial services firms treat a key system for detecting misconduct, known as breach reporting.

Mr Medcraft made the swipe as he gave fresh details of an investigation into the wealth arm of National Australia Bank – a case that highlights the gaps in the watchdog’s system for gathering information about market misconduct.

The full story is available from The Sydney Morning Herald.

CBA rocked in IT bribery scandal

Nick Ralston, Paul Bibby and Ben Grubb at The Sydney Morning Herald report that US firm ServiceMesh is at the centre of CBA bribery scandal.

After being questioned by his employer, the Commonwealth Bank, over large sums of money discovered in one of his accounts, IT executive Keith Hunter allegedly fired off an email to a colleague.

“I am so shocked I want to vomit,” the email allegedly stated.  “I cannot believe we were tis [sic] stupid.”

Mr Hunter, 61, the bank’s former general manager of technology service management and operations, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with two counts of bribery relating to a contract awarded by the bank to a US IT firm – ServiceMesh.

The full story is available from The Sydney Morning Herald.

Australia named ‘major money launderer’

Peter Mitchell at The Sydney Morning Herald reports on a US State Department report that says money laundering remains a key enabler of serious and organised crime in Australia.

Australia is one of the world’s major money laundering countries and home to terrorist cells involved in fundraising, according to a US government report.

However, Australia fares well in the 2015 International Narcotics Control Strategy report, which praises the federal government’s system to detect, prevent and prosecute money laundering.

The annual State Department report lists Australia with more than 60 other nations, including Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Brazil, Russia, the UK, US and China, as major money laundering countries.

The full story is available from The Sydney Morning Herald.

CBA’s scandal raises new questions

Elizabeth Knight at The Sydney Morning Herald reports on the latest bank scandal, involving high-flying IT executives allegedly involved in bribery and fraud, puts the spotlight on the industry’s practices and how they might foster bad behaviour.

In February, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s chief executive Ian Narev and his most senior lieutenants hosted the bank’s annual business media dinner.

But rather than using the usual head office boardroom, it chose to allow us into its Technology Lab – a bit like an IT theme park where we could play with all the gadgetry that backs the bank’s boast of being at the industry’s cutting edge.

None of the assembled could have imagined that during the same month, the CBA had contacted the NSW police with the belief that two of its most senior IT executives were involved in bribery and fraud.

The full story is available from The Sydney Morning Herald.

Insider trading masterminds jailed after Block bid

Mark Russell at The Sydney Morning Herald reports on the court appearance of two men behind a prominent 2013/14 insider trading scheme.

Two men involved in a $7 million insider trading scheme that helped the mastermind buy an apartment from The Block television show to give his crimes a “cloak of respectability” have been jailed.

Former NAB banker Lukas Kamay and former Australian Bureau of Statistics employee Christopher Hill had been involved in the worst case of insider trading to come before the courts in Australia, said Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth.

The full story is available from The Sydney Morning Herald.

NAB vows to lift game on bad advice

Clancy Yeates at The Sydney Morning Herald covers NAB CEO Andrew Thorburn’s response to recent revelations about the banks financial planning division.

National Australia Bank chief Andrew Thorburn has conceded there is a need for better processes to detect bad financial advice and inform customers who may be affected, after recent revelations of misconduct in its wealth arm.

Mr Thorburn on Monday said there would always be instances of “greed” and “deceit” in finance, but banks needed to counter this through their internal systems and the example set by senior executives.

The full story is available from The Sydney Morning Herald.

NAB and its dead-parrots society

Jeff Morris at The Sydney Morning Herald reports on NAB’s appearance at a Senate estimates hearing in relation to its financial planning division.

NAB’s denial of systemic problems in its financial planning division at the Senate hearing last week reminded me of Monty Python’s dead parrot sketch.

For those not familiar with the brilliance of Python, a man goes back to a pet store to complain about a parrot he bought that, upon closer inspection, turns out to have been stuffed and nailed to its perch.

“It’s not dead!” NAB shrieked repeatedly. Trust me fellas, it’s dead. You may not be able to find systemic problems in your financial planning division but I’ll bet you I could if you’d let me look through the files.

The full story is available from The Sydney Morning Herald.

NAB will need more than remorse to satisfy Senate grilling

Adele Ferguson at The Sydney Morning Herald highlights the seriousness of NAB’s appearance at an upcoming Senate estimates hearing where it must explain serious misconduct on its financial planning division.

National Australia Bank executives will need to pull a rabbit out of a hat when they front a Senate estimates hearing on Friday to explain serious misconduct in its financial planning division.

The allegations the bank has faced since Fairfax Media’s expose on February 21 are so serious it has raised the interest of the corporate regulator ASIC, the prudential regulator APRA and reignited calls for a royal commission into the financial services sector.

The full story is available from The Sydney Morning Herald.

ASIC needs more funding

Nassim Khadem at The Sydney Morning Herald reports on David Murray’s comments regarding calls for a royal commission into the financial planning industry.

The head of the financial system inquiry, David Murray, says there’s only a case for a royal commission into the financial planning sector if there’s evidence of criminal conduct.

Mr Murray said that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission needed better resourcing, and financial planners needed better training.

There was no need for a royal commission “unless there’s criminality”, he said. “Otherwise there’s probably no distinct benefit.”

The full story is available from The Sydney Morning Herald.