February 26, 2018 / 8:36 AM / a year ago

Australia's CBA disputes regulator's new rate-manipulation allegations

A man walks past a branch of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in central Sydney, Australia, February 7, 2018. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz

(Reuters) - Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA.AX) said on Monday it will dispute new claims by the Australian corporate regulator that doubles the number of allegations against the bank over rate-manipulation.

Australia’s biggest bank by market capitalization added that it is reviewing details of the allegations lodged by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission against it that increase the number of occasions on which CBA is accused of trying to rig the bank bill swap reference rate (BBSW) in 2012 to six from three.

The BBSW is the primary interest rate benchmark used in Australian financial markets to price home loans, credit cards and other financial products.

“We do not believe our employees have engaged in unlawful conduct, nor have they done anything that would have adversely impacted the efficiency and integrity of financial markets as alleged, or at all,” CBA said in a statement.

The corporate regulator had also accused CBA’s rivals - Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ.AX), National Australia Bank (NAB.AX) and Westpac Banking Corp (WBC.AX) - of rigging the same rate last year.

Shares of CBA on Monday closed 1.5 percent higher, outperforming a 0.7 percent rise in the benchmark index .

Reporting by Shashwat Pradhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

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