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Royal commission insider trading allegations

$500 million of trades are under scrutiny.

Jack Derwin

Digital Journalist, Your Money

The Federal Opposition has implored the government to conduct an investigation into claims that the financial services royal commission final report was leaked and led to a flurry of insider trading on Monday.

The report, which was handed to the government last Friday by Commissioner Kenneth Hayne, was held until it was published on Monday afternoon so as not to impact the market during trade.

However, regardless of that precaution, investors bought $500 million of bank shares at around 11 am on Monday, despite no public announcements.

“Very clearly there was market movement during the day. The whole excuse the government gave us for not releasing the report on Friday was that it might move the market and then the market moved on Monday,” Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen told media on Thursday.

“There are questions to answer here. We make no allegation [but] we raise questions and serious questions,” Bowen added.

“What we want to know is, was any part of the report released, and if so to whom by whom?”

Banks shares rallied the very next day, some nearly by 10 per cent, meaning any investors on Monday would have made a tidy profit.

Bowen demanded that the government conduct an investigation into possible insider trading in coordination with the relevant authorities.

“We have raised this with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and as I understand it also the Australia Securities Exchange [ASX] and with ASIC,” he said.

Watch Chris Bowen’s full comments above. 

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