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The Supreme Court of the Australian state of Victoria has announced that the parties to a class action arising from the February 2009 Victorian bushfires (Black Saturday) that "killed 173 people and injured thousands of others" have reached a settlement of approximately A$495 million. According to the Court, the action involves more than 10,500 group members and relates to the damage caused in the Kilmore East-Kinglake area, where 119 people died and 1,200 homes were destroyed.

Financial services provider Citigroup has announced that it has reached a US$7 billion settlement with several United States authorities in relation to "[residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS)] and collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) issued, structured or underwritten by [Citigroup] between 2003 and 2008".

Published in Financial Integrity

The United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has made available an order (7 July 2014) (the Order) approving an agreement (attached to the Order) under which Arizona Public Service Company (APS) is to pay a US$3.25 million civil penalty and meet compliance requirements to resolve regulators' investigations into APS's involvement in the 2011 blackout that affected approximately five million individuals in the US Southwest.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia Group (CBA) has made available a statement (3 July 2014) by its chief executive officer Ian Narev announcing a program to provide remediation for customers who suffered financial loss as a result of "[p]oor advice provided by some of [CBA's financial advisers] between 2003 [and] 2012".

Published in Consumer Protection

The United States Financial Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has announced that it has accepted (30 June 2014) Goldman Sachs Execution & Clearing's (GS) consent to the entry of findings by FINRA.

Published in Financial Integrity

The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) and the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) have jointly announced that France-based bank BNP Paribas has agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to breach US economic sanctions laws by processing billions of US dollars' worth of transactions through the US financial system on behalf of sanctioned Sudanese, Iranian, and Cuban entities.

Published in Anti-Money Laundering

Record Credit Card Discrimination Settlement

26 Jun 2014
Written by World Watch

The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) has made available Order #1 (undated) settling allegations that GE Capital Retail Bank (Synchrony Bank) "engaged in a nationwide pattern or practice of discrimination by excluding Hispanic borrowers from two of its credit card debt-repayment programs".

The United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a summary (24 June 2014) of its report and recommendations in relation to the accident involving Asiana Airlines Flight 214 at San Francisco International Airport on 6 July 2013.

Company Breached Continuous Disclosure Laws

26 Jun 2014
Written by World Watch

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has announced that Newcrest Mining (Newcrest) has admitted contraventions of the Corporations Act 2001 No. 50 (Cth) involving the selective disclosure of market-sensitive information to analysts and failing to disclose this information to the relevant bourse.

Published in Financial Integrity

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has made available an order (16 June 2014) under which hedge fund advisory firm Paradigm Capital Management and owner Candace Weir have agreed to pay US$2.2 million to settle charges that they "engag[ed] in prohibited principal transactions and then retaliat[ed] against the employee who reported the [prohibited] trading activity to the SEC". The case is the first to be filed under the SEC's "new authority to bring anti-retaliation enforcement actions".

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