July 1, 2020 / 2:45 AM / 7 days ago

SocGen's Australian securities arm pleads guilty to client money offences

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Societe Generale is seen on the firm's headquarters in the financial and business district of La Defense near Paris, France, Feb. 4, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

(Reuters) - Australia’s corporate regulator on Wednesday said the Australian securities unit of France’s Societe Generale SA (SocGen) (SOGN.PA) has pleaded guilty to charges of breaching client money provisions.

This comes after the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) last month said the unit faces restrictions on new customers if it does not comply with new licensing conditions related to client money laws.

Societe Generale Securities Australia is the second company this year to face criminal prosecution on charges of breaching client money codes, which ensure that client money is kept in authorised accounts, the regulator said on Wednesday.

The French investment bank in an emailed statement said the unit’s plea was in line with “its responsible and transparent position”.

The securities unit on Tuesday pleaded guilty to the charges brought by ASIC in March which include two counts of making non-permitted payments out of a client money account and two counts of failing to pay money into separate bank accounts, over the period Dec. 8, 2014 to Feb. 8, 2017.

The regulator said each offence carries a maximum penalty of about A$45,000 ($31,086) with the matter being listed for sentence on Sept. 21.

($1 = 1.4476 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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