On 24 May Justice Beach of the Federal Court of Australia handed down its judgment in respect of Westpac’s involvement in setting the Bank Bill Swap Reference rate (BBSW) on certain occasions (see Australian Securities and Investments Commission v Westpac Banking Corporation (No 2) [2018] FCA 751).

The Court held that ASIC did not made out its case against Westpac under sections 1041A and 1041B of the Corporations Act concerning market manipulation or market rigging or in respect of its other claims, but held that Westpac engaged in unconscionable conduct under section 12CC of the ASIC Act (as in force prior to 1 January 2012) on four occasions and contravened certain paragraphs of section 912A of the Corporations Act.  ASIC’s issued a media release on the outcome.

In a lengthy judgment, the Court provides a useful legal analysis of provisions relating to market manipulation, misleading or deceptive conduct and unconscionable conduct under both the Corporations Act and the ASIC Act, as well as the general obligation of AFS licensees under section 912A of the Corporations Act.