ASIC places new licence conditions on Societe Generale

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced imposing additional conditions on the Australian Financial Services (AFS) license of Societe Generale SA’s Australian securities branch to ensure compliance with client money regulations.

The need for the additional license condition follows SocGen’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.

Societe Generale

The Australian regulator has requested that SocGen to appoint an independent expert to assess and test its controls, systems and processes to ensure compliance and identify any deficiencies and set out any remedial action.

The additional AFS license conditions also require SocGen to provide attestations from a qualified senior executive and a board member that confirm that the remedial actions recommended by the independent expert have been implemented.

If ASIC’s new requirements are not met, SocGen must stop on-boarding new customers and refrain from charging brokerage fees.

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