The ability of ASIC to pursue the banks for breaking the law was criticised by Commissioner Kenneth Hayne who said the regulator “rarely went to court to seek public denunciation and punishment for misconduct” and was more likely to seek a negotiated outcome such as an enforceable undertaking.
The BBSW trial took place in Melbourne in 2017 and was the last of the rate rigging actions to take place around the world, following similar actions in London and New York over the LIBOR interbank lending rate. Banks around the world have paid more than $9 billion in fines over the scandal.
Westpac’s treasurer Curt Zuber was the most senior executive at the bank to give evidence. Later in the trial a number of Mr Roden and Ms Johnston’s colleagues would also give evidence, including Daniel “Bench” Park, Satruhan “Zac” Sharma and Patrick “The Sheriff” Stokes.
Evidence submitted in the case was even more colourful than the traders’ nicknames, with a number of lively exchanges from the bank’s traders capturing the attention of the public.
In one notorious telephone exchange played to the court and dissected in detail Mr Roden talked about his upcoming trading intentions
“I knew it was completely wrong but f— it I might as well, I thought f— it. We’ve got so much money on it, we just had to do it, right,” Mr Roden said.
Other calls and transcripts released were less connected to the business of trading and seemed designed to discredit those involved.
Mr Roden is no longer with the bank, however Ms Johnston continued to work for Westpac’s group treasury out of its London office and is now on maternity leave.
BBSW remains a key interest rate benchmark, however the way it is calculated was changed in 2017 to remove the risk of manipulation.