Failure to comply with anti-money laundering and terror financing legislation could leave the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) facing enormous fines.
The Australian Transaction Reports & Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) has launched civil proceedings, claiming that CBA breached laws relating to the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act) on no fewer than 53,700 occasions.
If the maximum penalty is carried for each offence (AU$18mn), then the total fine could breach $1trn.
AUSTRAC acting CEO Peter Clark said that this action follows an investigation by AUSTRAC into CBA’s compliance, particularly regarding its use of intelligent deposit machines (IDMs).
He said: “By failing to have sound AML/CTF systems and controls in place, businesses are at risk of being misused for criminal purposes," Mr Clark said.
"AUSTRAC's goal is to have a financial sector that is vigilant and capable of responding, including through innovation, to threats of criminal exploitation."
"We believe this can be achieved by working collaboratively with and supporting industry. We will continue to work in this way with our industry partners who also share this aim and demonstrate a strong commitment to it."
Here is a summary of AUSTRAC’s accusations: