Featured Australia

What Westpac’s Woes Tell Us About AML Compliance

As the fallout from Westpac’s massive money-laundering scandal continues, compliance officers would be well advised to spend some time reviewing how the bank’s troubles began. For that, we can turn to AUSTRAC’s recent civil action against the lender alleging over 23-million breaches of domestic AML/CTF legislation, each carrying a maximum fine… Read More

Citi Sent 99pc of Westpac Transfers That Breached AUSTRAC Requirements

Citigroup has been identified as one of the four correspondent banks in AUSTRAC’s filing against Westpac, initially referred to as ‘Bank A’ in its statement of claim. According to Investor Daily, the Citi transactions came from one of its European arms, using Westpac to clear the payments and… Read More

Scandal-Hit Westpac to Refund Some Buyers of New Shares

Australia’s Westpac Banking Corp offered to refund people who bought new shares weeks before a lawsuit accusing it of millions of breaches of money laundering laws, a move some investors said was to fend off criticism about its transparency. The country’s oldest and second-largest bank has… Read More
28th November 2019
More directors may depart Westpac’s board following an investigation of the bank’s money laundering and child exploitation scandal by consulting firm Promontory. Westpac’s board will also set up a new financial crime committee, chairman Lindsay Maxsted said. Investor pressure following bombshell legal action launched by… Read More
28th November 2019
Westpac Banking Corp’s experienced anti-money laundering chief was told she didn’t have the skills for the job and would have to take a more junior role after informing the bank that it faced the largest fine in corporate history, industry sources said. Amanda Wood, Westpac’s money-laundering reporting officer, led the… Read More
27th November 2019
Big four bank ANZ says it launched an internal investigation of whether its anti-money-laundering and counter-terror finance (AML CTF) systems were adequate following scandals at rival banks Commonwealth and Westpac. On Wednesday ANZ said it was revealing the review, which had been under way since June,… Read More
26th November 2019
The Westpac chief executive Brian Hartzer has resigned and chairman Lindsay Maxsted will step down early following the money-laundering scandal involving allegations the bank failed to stop transactions with the Philippines involving child exploitation. Hartzer will be paid $2.69m for doing nothing for the next 12 months while serving… Read More
26th November 2019
Westpac has released its response plan to the AML/CTF issues raised by AUSTRAC last week as it launched civil penalty proceedings against the bank. According to AUSTRAC’s statement of claim, Westpac contravened the AML/CTF laws on 23 million instances between 2013 to and 2019. Among the bank’s failures, AUSTRAC… Read More
25th November 2019
The treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, says the banking regulator is looking at disqualifying the Westpac board for accountability failings which may have helped facilitate child exploitation. The financial intelligence agency, Austrac, announced it had begun legal action against Westpac last week, levelling accusations the bank had more than 23m… Read More
25th November 2019
Fintech payments juggernaut Afterpay breached anti-money laundering laws because it initially received incorrect legal advice about how to comply, an independent audit has found. The audit found Afterpay was in breach because an unnamed top-tier law firm incorrectly decided the buy-now, pay-later company was not providing loans to consumers but… Read More
22nd November 2019
The Australian anti-money laundering (AML) regulator’s case against Westpac for more than 23 million alleged reporting breaches will shine an international spotlight on SWIFT data reporting avoidance. Anti-money laundering experts have said the case will provide an unprecedented view into the processes that banks put in place to circumvent the… Read More
21st November 2019
A global anti-money laundering taskforce has suspended evaluations of financial crime laws mid-way through an examination of Australia’s progress in the area. The Financial Action Taskforce (FATF), which sits under the G7 major world economies, was due to release its latest Australian report in the coming months, but that process has… Read More
21st November 2019
When Nicole Rose pulled the lever on Westpac, with explosive AUSTRAC allegations of 23 million breaches of money laundering and terror finance laws over five years, she displayed all the muscle and determination of this small regulator. The staggering announcement on Wednesday totally eclipses the CBA case where Rose extracted a settlement… Read More