Just after midnight, a silver Porsche Cayenne was drifting round the green trail of Chateau Elan, a five-star golf resort in Sydney's Hunter Valley.
The man holding the steering wheel was a middle-aged man with gray but still thick hair, and the top button of his shirt was loosely opened. He seems to have been drinking for at least six hours in a row.
Surprisingly, this crazy-looking man is not actually a high-roller gambler on holiday here, but an investment banker named Steve Bellotti, who was also Head of the Global Markets Department of ANZ Bank.
Steve Bellotti / Source: Twitter@fantomfdn
At that time, ANZ Bank was hosting an exclusive meeting of heavyweight customers, receiving about 150 customers from the lucrative global market department-and Belot himself gave the opening speech at the meeting.
Back in the Porsche car that was drifting in place, the 43-year-old head of investment and sales, Patrick O'Connor, sitting in the back seat of the car, did not seem to enjoy Bellot's car skills that much.
Source: Chateau Elan
For more than an hour, O'Connor has been watching the hotel staff try to persuade Bellott to stop here tonight, but he can't reduce his interest in continuing.
According to O'Connor, Belot even responded aggressively to the shift manager of the day:
"Do you know who I am?"
It's a pity that Belot didn't know that he was about to usher in a big trouble -In fact, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is investigating the alleged manipulation of interest rates within ANZ Bank, and this will become one of the largest investigations ever conducted in Australia.
That was March 2013.
Just a few months after the British interest rate scandal broke out, scandals involving high-level resignations and huge fines broke out on both sides of the Atlantic.
At the same time, ASIC is also investigating the manipulation of interest rates in Australia, and is paying close attention to the global market team of ANZ Bank led by Belot.
But ANZ Bank is naturally not willing to "sit and wait to die"-in fact, there is evidence that the company tried to frustrate this investigation by "doing small moves" within the regulator.
Storm is coming.
When Belot first joined ANZ in 2010, as a successful investment banker, he had actually won "a lot of prestige" around the world.
It's just that people are willing to talk about it, not only his glorious investment past, but also his "rich and colorful" private life:
According to reports, he had a dispute with someone on a certain trading floor in London, and his eye was bruised after he went out;
He also rented Richard Branson (Richard Branson) on an island in the Caribbean Sea at a price of 4 Australian dollars a day for a four-day wedding;
And his 40th birthday party went on frantically for three full weeks.
Necker Island, popular among royals, rock stars and movie stars, is a private resort in the Caribbean. Source: favething
Needless to say, Belot is very successful at work——He loves money and is better at making money
At the age of 48, he returned to Australia and was hired to lead ANZ Bank's global marketing team.
Under his leadership, it’s very common for company executives to go to strip clubs with their employees—a club is even called a “board of directors” by some employees because “you met the boss there. The time for one is more likely than in the office."
Within ANZ Bank, Bellot has ambitiously formulated a strategy he called "30 billion in three years", that is, to increase revenue to A$30 billion in three years.
In 2011, a new employee named Etienne Alexiou joined the company and became a senior trader at ANZ Bank.
Etienne Alexiou / Source: AFR
Although he had worked in many financial institutions before, the 38-year-old trader immediately noticed when he entered ANZ Bank that this place was a bit "unusual":
"It feels a bit like the Wild West, and also a bit like a caricature about investment banking, with all the exaggeration and bizarre behavior, but nothing substantive."
One of the things that first caught his attention was the discussion on the "slaughter rate" in the trading floor.
The "interest rate" frequently mentioned in the discussion is actually the bank bill swap rate (abbreviation: BBSW). It is a benchmark used to set the interest on trillions of Australian dollars in short-term loans between banks and many other corporate transactions.
Alesiu recalled the scene at the time, “When I heard it once or twice, I thought, “Well, maybe someone had a bad day today.” But after hearing too much, I think more: This is something that needs to be explained. Matter?"
BBSW was supposed to be an independent interest rate, set by the market within a 5-minute window at the opening of each trading day, and aimed to provide an independent and transparent reference interest rate for Australian dollar interest rate swap transactions.
But in the allegations made by regulators against ANZ,The seemingly independent and transparent interest rate seems to be in a slaughterhouse, which can be arbitrarily slaughtered and profited from it. Many people have fishy on their hands.
Although the bank has always strongly denied this -Until 2012, the recordings intercepted by ASIC slapped their faces severely.
In the recording, some traders in the bank are discussing how to "manipulate interest rates":
"You know, if we can do this fucking, 50 points out of 3 billion, that's a full half a million-oh, that's it. People don't know how the 50 Australian dollars came from. Paul I'm quite willing to go on the road, do you know about this? So we just need to fucking do this, especially to control the fucking interest rate."
Probably because it is unavoidable to think that he can easily make a lot of money, he will inevitably be impetuous. This senior trader repeatedly exploded a few swear words when he shared his "get rich".
In another secretly recorded phone call in November 2011, another trader said: "We are trying to push interest rates lower...tomorrow higher."
As the investigation of ANZ Bank accelerated, ASIC began interviewing anyone who might be helpful to their investigation-one of them was Alehu.
That was 2014.
Aleciu thought this interview with the regulator was confidential-until he met a colleague one morning.
Alehu recalled his shock at the time: "He repeated what I said to ASIC the day before. This surprised me because he told me every word of it."
"He said to me,'ASIC leaked like a sieve.'"
But the good show has just been staged-ANZ Bank began to play an "infernal affairs" with the regulator ASIC:
The bank first hired a Sydney law firm to represent its employees, but the lawyers told ANZ Bank who received the interviews and when they were conducted.
Although a spokesperson for the law firm stated that the company has never infringed on the privacy of its clients and has never provided confidential information to ANZ Bank;
A spokesperson for ANZ Bank stated that the company has not tried to make its employees violate its statutory confidentiality obligations at any stage.
At the same time, ANZ executives are developing a strategy to weaken the "combat power" of ASIC investigator Colin Luxford and try to marginalize his views within the regulator.
Lukeford believes that ASIC has enough evidence on its alleged interest rate manipulation to bring the bank to court; while Australia and New Zealand is focusing on avoiding this from happening.
In the minutes of a meeting in May 2015, an ANZ executive stated:
"At this moment we are walking on the tip of a knife. In ASIC, Lukeford is still the dominant speech in the room." He said, "But our goal is to use ASIC to change Lukeford's views."
According to the minutes of the meeting, ANZ Chairman David Gonski had a one-on-one meeting with ASIC Chairman Greg Medcraft during this period.
Greg Medcraft / Source: ASIC
The document said: "ASIC will hope to get a little victory. The bank is working hard to develop a solution acceptable to ASIC."
In the end, Australia and New Zealand and ASIC reached a settlement in 2017, acknowledging "attempts to violate conscience"-the price of this solution was5000 million Australian dollarsFine.
In fact, this decision has caused some unease within ASIC, and there are also some differences.
According to ABC News, at the time, Lukeford felt that the regulator was "selling out itself."
In fact, in the last few months before reaching a settlement, ASIC had submitted a 180-page court document.
In addition to extracts from emails and other evidence, this document also contains ASIC's allegations that 38 ANZ Bank employees were aware of or participated in the so-called "interest rate manipulation" behavior.
Among these people, there are relatively junior traders as well as corporate executives such as Belot and Shayne Elliott.
In this document, most of the employees accused of understanding or participating in "exchange rate manipulation" are actually employed by the bank's global market department under the leadership of Belot.
However, the allegations in this court document never had a chance to be verified in the trial.
ANZ Bank has always insisted,It has never manipulated interest rates.
On the other hand, it did admit that a small number of traders had “attempted to act against conscience.”
When the media later asked ANZ whether the employees involved in the "interest rate manipulation" scandal would suffer any direct consequences, they did not receive any response.
However, some people have already eaten the bitter fruit:
In 2014, seven traders of the bank were suspended awaiting the results of the investigation of the case.
O'Connor, who had sat in the back seat of Belott's Porsche at the time, noticed that the suspension list did not include the management responsible for the department.
O'Connor said in the survey: "At that time, I was concerned that the company picked these seven people out. I think that in the management structure, there seem to be some people whose responsibilities should be confirmed."
He still remembers being called to a strange private meeting to meet with an executive-the subject of the meeting was about his colleague, Alehu, a senior trader who was also interviewed by ASIC.
The executive asked him how he felt Alessiu was tolerant of potentially negative media reports.
"I have no news to provide," he explained. "I remember when I went out, I thought this was one of the strangest meetings I have ever attended."
Alessio was suspended.
He was eventually fired by ANZ Bank, but in fact his departure has nothing to do with the "interest rate manipulation" scandal-on the contrary, he was fired for publishing "inappropriate remarks" on the bank's internal information system.
Alesiu took ANZ Bank to court, and the bank released his chat information in court.
Investigations revealed that these chat transcripts were actually edited and the full text was never made public.
Alexiu, who was resentful about this, said that these records were taken out of context, showing a completely different meaning.
"I was portrayed as a racist, a misogynist, a homophobic person, and a low moral character."
In fact, he later sued ANZ Bank, but later abandoned the lawsuit for various reasons.
And his colleague has come to an end in this bank:
O'Connor was taken to a meeting to inform him of his expulsion and was accused of abusing his company's credit card. The bank produced a receipt stating that he sold rare coins worth 18000 Australian dollars.
He admitted that he did this, but he said it was approved by the manager-he was allowed to collect fees and then used to repay personal expenses.
He said: "I think this is a generally accepted practice, and it is not prohibited in my employment contract. My expenses are always confirmed by myself and then reimbursed to the bank. This is fully approved by the bank."
Mr. O'Connor is considering suing ANZ Bank.
What annoys Alessio, O'Connor, and others in the department is the company’s handling of the problem"Double standard":
Although they were dismissed, the higher-level employees of ANZ Bank were not affected at all.
Belot even immediately moved to a higher position after the reception in the Hunter Valley—co-head of agency and international bank, reporting directly to the CEO.
It wasn't until a year after the ANZ Bank scandal was made public that he resigned from his position.
In fact, long before his resignation, Bellott had the idea of selling his sea view villa on Mosman Beach-it was only after waiting for another three years before he sold the mansion for more than 2017 million Australian dollars in 1000.
Belot's villa on Mosman Beach / Source: propertyobserver
His boss, Elliott, became the bank’s chief executive more than a year after the accusation surfaced. When ANZ decided to reach a settlement with ASIC, Elliott was still in the top position.
After leaving ANZ Bank, Belot led a new investment company called TCM (Token Capital Management), eagerly preparing to "make a comeback."
Source: Michelle Mossop
Only this time, the high-profile banker set his sights on the blockchain and digital token market.
Although the cryptocurrency market almost suffered a "full bloodbath" in 2018, a fund of the company also fell tragically by 75% at the end of its first year, but it is estimated that this year's market trend will rise again by 40%. .
Although it is a bit sad, people are always more willing to see a big man regroup after going through storms, but they will not live in the bleak and ordinary life of a small man after losing his job.
As La Bruyère mentioned in "The Theory of Character":
For those who are powerful, it is best not to say much.
Because as long as they say good things, they almost always slap their heads;
To say bad things about them, if they are still alive, it is dangerous;
If they have passed away, it is despicable.
This article is compiled from an ABC report:'Slaughter' house: The scandal inside ANZ