March 18, 2020 / 7:59 AM / 14 days ago

UPDATE 1-Societe Generale Australia unit charged with breaching client money codes

(Adds Societe Generale comment)

March 18 (Reuters) - French investment bank Societe Generale SA’s Australian securities arm has been charged with criminal offences for allegedly failing to separate its clients’ money from its own, Australia’s corporate regulator said on Wednesday.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said the breach of client money provisions was “serious” and “risks undermining investor confidence”.

The charges brought against Societe Generale Securities Australia on Tuesday in a Sydney court include two counts of failing to pay client money into separate bank accounts and two counts of not complying with requirements for a client money bank account, the regulator said.

ASIC alleges that the breaches took place between December 2014 and September 2018.

“Societe Generale Securities Australia self-reported three matters over 2017 and 2018. ...(It) has completed all remediation actions in relation to its operational set-up and has informed ASIC accordingly,” a Hong Kong-based spokesman for the bank said in an emailed statement.

The next hearing will be held on May 12. (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Alun John in Hong Kong, Editing by Stephen Coates and Michael Perry)

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