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Australia’s Federal Court has ordered Macquarie Bank Ltd to pay a penalty of $10 million for failing to have effective controls to prevent and detect unauthorised fee transactions conducted by third parties, such as financial advisers, on customer cash management accounts using Macquarie’s bulk transacting facility.

Macquarie enabled its customers to give third parties, such as financial advisers, stockbrokers and accountants, different levels of authority to transact on their accounts, including a limited authority to withdraw the third party’s fees.

Macquarie also made available to third parties a bulk transacting tool to make multiple withdrawals across multiple customer accounts simultaneously.

Between 1 May 2016 and 15 January 2020, Macquarie failed to implement effective controls to monitor whether third party bulk transactions under the fee authority were actually for fees.

While Macquarie initially defended the proceeding, it later admitted that it contravened its obligation to provide its financial services efficiently, honestly and fairly.

Macquarie agreed to pay a penalty of $10 million for its conduct.

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