JPMorgan admits to withholding ANZ shares

A JPMorgan executive has told the court that there was an agreement between JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup to withhold ANZ shares from the market.

Speaking to the court for the ongoing case surrounding the $2.5 billion ANZ share sale, ex-JPMorgan banker Jeff Herbert-Smith said there was a "gentleman's agreement" between the three banks to restrict their share sales.

Herbert-Smith had previously testified in December last year that the banks had decided to restrict share sales "independently", but voluntarily withdrew this statement.

The ACCC alleges that the banks made the agreement together after a failed capital raise that led to an oversupply of ANZ shares.

ACCC general manager Jane Lin testified that Herbert-Smith "attempted to characterise those facts in a different way which I knew was inconsistent with other pieces of evidence".

The prosecutors presented an email sent by Herbert-Smith around the time of the alleged events that referenced a "gentleman's agreement".

The defence claims that Herbert-Smith withdrew his initial testimony due to pressure from the ACCC.

Lawyers for ANZ, Deutsche and Citigroup have been trying to prove that witness statements from JPMorgan have been tainted by coordination between the regulator and JPMorgan lawyers.

The ACCC had granted staff at JPMorgan immunity from the investigation in return for their cooperation with the case.

The Commonwealth brought charges against ANZ, Citigroup and Deutsche following an ACCC investigation into a $2.5 billion ANZ share sale.

Read more: JPMorganANZACCCCitigroupDeutsche BankJeff Herbert-SmithCommonwealthJane Lin
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