Former Credit Suisse banker charged with insider trading

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission has charged former Credit Suisse investment banker Darren Wayne Thompson with 11 counts of procuring insider trading.

The alleged offending occurred between May 2008 and June 2011 while Mr Thompson was a vice-president in the investment banking unit of Credit Suisse in Sydney.

ASIC alleges Mr Thompson procured a close friend, Michael William Hull, to buy shares of seven ASX listed companies while holding inside information about them he had gained through the investment bank.

The alleged profits from the trading were about $A492,000.

Mr Thompson pleaded not guilty to the charges at Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney.

In a statement issued to media, Mr Thompson’s lawyer John Laxon said: “My client is, and has always been, conscious of his obligations and responsibilities in relation to market sensitive information, and he has always behaved accordingly.”

“He absolutely rejects that he has ever behaved improperly.

“Additionally, it must also be very clearly understood that there is no suggestion that my client ever traded in the securities that are the subject of the charges, nor did he in any way profit from Michael Hull’s trading in the relevant securities.  There has been absolutely no benefit to him whatsoever arising from Mr Hull’s activities.”

In June Mr Hull was jailed for 17 months after pleading guilty to insider trading charges brought by ASIC.

According to a report on the case by the Australian Financial Review in June, Mr Hull and Mr Thompson were friends who regularly jogged together at lunchtimes.

The report said the prosecution’s case against Mr Hull was that Mr Thompson would give him trading tips such as "Take a look at Mac Services, this stock is worth a punt"; "Giralia is a good opportunity, Giralia has the infrastructure to get its deposits up and it's an attractive target"; and "It's worth a punt on Jabiru."
Mr Hull is expected to be released in January after serving seven months of his sentence on condition of good behaviour.