Societe Generale Securities Australia Pty Ltd has pleaded guilty to client money offences brought on by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) at the Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney on Tuesday.

On the 30th of June 2020, Societe Generale Securities Australia pleaded guilty to four separate counts of client money offences, which occurred during specific time intervals across the 8th of December 2014 to the 8th of February 2017.

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As Finance Magnates reported, in March 2020 the securities firm appeared in the Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney on criminal charges. In particular, the company was charged with two counts of failing to pay client money into segregated authorised bank accounts and two counts of failing to comply with requirements relating to a client money bank account.

According to a statement from ASIC today, SocGen Securities Australia pleaded guilty to: 

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  • Two counts of breaching s993B(1) by receiving money in connection with financial services, and then failing to pay that money into an account that satisfied the client money requirements within s981B of the Corporations Act 2001.
  • Two counts of breaching s993C(1) through making payments out of a client money account that were not permitted by reg 7.8.02 of the Corporations Regulations.

Each of the offences carries a maximum penalty of 250 penalty units (approximately $45,000). The matter has been listed for sentencing on the 21st of September 2020.

ASIC imposes extra conditions on SocGen AFSL

The most recent development follows on from ASIC imposing additional conditions on Societe Generale Securities Australia Pty Ltd’s Australian financial services (AFS) licence in June.

The new conditions mean that Societe General Securities Australia must appoint an independent expert to assess and test its controls, systems and processes. They will be in charge of ensuring the company is in compliance with client money requirements of the Corporations Act 2001.

Societe Generale Securities Australia is a financial services provider in equity derivative sales, prime services, and clearing. It also offers over the counter (OTC) derivatives and ASX24 futures and options, among other financial products. Its clients are wholesale clients, which means – financial institutions, hedge funds, asset managers, and corporate clients.