SocGen pleads guilty to client money offences in Australia

Societe Generale Securities Australia Pty Ltd has pleaded guilty to client money offences.

The plea follows ASIC’s inclusion of additional conditions on the company’s Australian Financial Services (AFS) license to ensure compliance with client money regulations.

Societe Generale’s Australian branch pleaded guilty to four separate counts for events which occurred between December 2014 and February 2017.

SocGen pleaded guilty to the allegations that it failed to put client money for financial services into a separate client account. The company also made payments out of client money accounts.

SocGen pleads guilty to client money offences in Australia

Each of the offences carries a maximum penalty of approximately $45,000.

These offences are regarded as serious misconduct. The legislation has been put in place to protect investors and enhance the confidence and integrity in Australia’s financial markets.

The need for the additional license condition which ASIC placed on SocGen’s Australian branch follows the company’s report to ASIC that it had deposited client money into unauthorised bank accounts between December 2014 and September 2018. In March, the French investment bank’s Australian securities unit was charged by the Australian watchdog with criminal offences for breaching client money obligations and failing to separate its clients’ money from its own.

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