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BFCSA: SECRETIVE ASIC silent re Whistleblowers or "ferrets" Macquarie and CBA Crime Scenes

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ASIC silent on possible Macquarie whistleblower


ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell.

24 Feb 2014

By Kate Kachor

 8  21


Senior members of the corporate regulator have refused to provide details about the possible existence of an informant within Macquarie Bank’s wealth management division. 

ASIC representatives, including chair Greg Medcraft and deputy chair Peter Kell, last week offered scant detail to a Senate committee in response to how issues within Macquarie Equities Limited (MEL) came to their attention.

Macquarie’s banking and wealth division came under siege last year when MEL agreed to an enforceable undertaking (EU) with the regulator.

The EU followed a nine-month ASIC investigation that uncovered a number of recurring compliance deficiencies “by and in the supervision of MEL’s advisers”.

In response to a direct question on whether an informant tipped off ASIC about the “problems with Macquarie”, Kell was non-committal.

“We wouldn’t comment on whether we had an informant … as a general rule,” he told the committee conducting a Senate inquiry into the performance of ASIC.

Whether ASIC received a tip-off or not, ASIC was undertaking significant surveillance of MEL, he said.

“But commenting more generally, if we were to disclose in any of these cases the existence of an informant, it could potentially put those people at risk,” he said.

Committee member and Nationals Senator John Williams assured Kell the committee was not asking for any specific names of individuals.

“I think the fact that if there was an informant, you would appreciate this, that if we even accepted knowledge of an informant that would put that informant at risk,” Kell added. 

Williams questioned Kell over the existence of a possible Macquarie informant after Medcraft revealed ASIC was contacted by a number of anonymous sources regarding issues within Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s dealer group, Commonwealth Financial Planning (Commonwealth FP).

Medcraft told the committee a number of informants or “ferrets” – as they referred themselves to – blew the whistle on the activities of a number of Commonwealth FP advisers between 2007 and 2008. 

MEL is a division of Macquarie Group and is authorised under its Australian financial services licence to offer financial advice. It carries on a financial product advice business under Macquarie Private Wealth.

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  • doyla66
    doyla66 Friday, 21 March 2014

    Wonder if Macquarie are one of the 2 major banks who "voluntarily confessed something to ASIC" mentioned on lateline business last night - connected with suspected market manipulation? Am certain it was said ASIC had not even looked into the matter and both Banks approached ASIC and made a confession and each volunteered to donate $1million to Greggie Medcraft's precious financial literacy scheme in return for being let off the hook (or words to that effect)! Not a lawyer myself but it reek of more bribery and corruption!

    Ed: Yep ASIC use the EU Method every time and pick up $1 million graft money for shoving everything under Medcraft's red carpet. Press criticized the use of EU's for major theft in 2003. EU's "only supposed to be used for a slight misdemeanor!"

  • Denise
    Denise Friday, 21 March 2014

    Organza, Yep ASIC use the EU Method every time and pick up $1 million graft money for shoving everything under Medcraft's red carpet. Press criticized the use of EU's for major theft in 2003. EU's "only supposed to be used for a slight misdemeanor!" Game still in play 11 years later. EU's are being used as a mega cover-up tool and consumers are at even more risk because of its misuse and abuse.

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Friday, 21 March 2014

    Well Denise I might be able to add a bit to your comment for red sports cars were in vogue when I last worked in the industry - the roof of one particular red sports car used to be stored in the massive office of one of the directors of a certain financial organisation which went in the early 1990's in the aftermath of the 1987 crash. Now when was it Regulators were formed? Looks to me as if nothing has changed at all!

    Ed: Regulators named Corp Affairs Comm in 70's and 80's to 1992, Then ASC in 90's then ASIC in 1998

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