Macquarie Bank has agreed to pay a $10 million Federal Court penalty for failing to monitor the conduct of third parties, including convicted financial adviser Ross Hopkins who embezzled $2.9 million from his customers’ accounts without being detected by the bank. 

Between 1 May 2016 and 15 January 2020, the bank failed to monitor if third-party bulk transactions under the fee authority were for fees, ASIC said in a media release. 

Macquarie enabled its customers to give third parties, such as financial advisers, stockbrokers and accountants, different levels of authority to transact on their accounts, and made available to third parties a bulk transacting tool to make multiple withdrawals across multiple customer accounts simultaneously. 

Hopkins stole superannuation funds from 13 clients worth a total of $2.9 million. 

He was a financial adviser and sole director of QWL in Sydney where he had almost complete control of his clients’ super which allowed him to transact on their accounts. 

It was found he used his clients’ funds for his own benefit, such as holidays, rent, paying his own credit card debts and repaying personal loans. 

Hopkins was banned from financial services in 2021 and sentenced to six years prison. 

Macquarie remediated Hopkins’ clients approximately $3.5 million after engagement with ASIC two years ago.