ASIC announced that it has banned Mr Damien Rodr, of Sydney, from providing financial services under s920A of the Corporations Act following an ASIC investigation into trading in the shares of DirectMoney Ltd (‘DirectMoney’; ASX code: DM1).
Mr Rodr, a Designated Trading Representative (or ‘DTR’) for Bell Potter Securities Ltd (‘Bell Potter’), has been banned for four years due to his involvement in trading in DM1 shares between 14 July 2015 and 23 July 2015.
Bell Potter had been the manager and underwriter to a capital raising, resulting in DirectMoney being admitted to the ASX on 13 July 2015. ASIC alleges that in the two weeks following the commencement of trading, Mr Rodr entered bids for DM1 shares, through Bell Potter’s house account, with the dominant purpose of supporting the DM1 share price on the ASX.
ASIC’s investigation found that Mr Rodr took part in transactions that had the effect of creating an artificial price for trading in DM1 shares, including transactions that increased and/or restored the ASX’s closing price for DM1.
ASIC is further concerned that Mr Rodr is likely to contravene a financial services law, on the basis that his conduct involved multiple transactions during the relevant period, and that he has not addressed his conduct or accepted responsibility for it.
ASIC will take action to ban people from providing financial services if they engage in conduct that undermines the integrity of our markets. This is particularly the case of gatekeepers entrusted with ensuring public confidence,’ ASIC Commissioner Cathie Armour said.
Mr Rodr has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.
ASIC’s investigation into trading in the shares of DirectMoney is continuing.
On 16 November 2017 Bell Potter paid a penalty of $358,000 to comply with an infringement notice given to it by the Markets Disciplinary Panel (MDP).
The infringement notice was issued by the MDP in relation to an alleged contravention of subsection 798H(1) of the Corporations Act, after the MDP found it had reasonable grounds to believe that Bell Potter had contravened Rule 5.7.1 and 5.11.1 of the ASIC Market Integrity Rules (ASX Market) 2010.
The infringement notice was issued for Bell Potter’s alleged conduct in July 2015, for reasons including that it made bids for DM1 shares with the intention, and having the effect of, supporting the price of DM1 shares.
Bell Potter’s compliance with the infringement notice is not an admission of guilt or liability, and Bell Potter is not taken to have contravened subsection 798H(1) of the Act.