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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

Westpac ticking every anti-money-laundering box wouldn’t make much difference to criminals

By Ronald F Pol, La Trobe University The charges surrounding Westpac’s alleged 23 million breaches of anti-money laundering laws have been called “about as serious as it gets”. They include, in the words of Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, giving “a free pass to paedophiles”. Read More

Securing the Integrity of the EU’s Financial System is Overdue – Why is Progress so Slow?

It is said that if you place a frog in water and slowly raise the temperature to boiling, it will fail to act until it is too late. I don’t know if this is true; I’d certainly never wish to test the theory. But the metaphor is apt for what… Read More
At times, we AML professionals in the private and public sectors that play by the rules have difficulty realizing that the “bad guys” at the highest levels of the criminal world have no rules. They have more resources and capabilities than we can conceptualize. Unless you’ve lived in that world,… Read More
“At the moment, money is still winning,” says Gerard Ryle, director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in response to a question on whether money or truth is more powerful. But that’s not to say financial crooks are particularly comfortable in the age of data leaks, or… Read More
Although economic sanctions are supposed to be universally adopted, they are only actively promulgated and enforced by a small handful of nations. The United States, in particular, has wielded the power of this tool of economic leverage the most extensively, and enforced its regulations the most aggressively. This is because… Read More
Generally speaking, “money laundering” is not at the top of anyone’s agenda as they go about their daily lives.  The average person might occasionally read a news article about a drug dealer convicted of drug trafficking and money laundering or hear a passing mention on a television show, but… Read More
Cryptocurrency is an emerging value transfer system with pluses and minuses for users with legal and illicit funds. No doubt it is growing every day, as evidenced by the facts provided on CoinMarketCap.com. But from a money launderer’s perspective, the greatest majority of cryptocurrencies have limitations for those servicing traditional… Read More
Despite significant regulatory attention on emerging financial crime risks related to crypto assets, one of the oldest and most sought-after physical assets — gold — remains a prevalent money laundering risk. A recent Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence article detailed how gold bars fraudulently stamped with logos of major refineries were being inserted… Read More
In this exclusive interview KYC360 talks to Tom Keatinge, Director of the Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London, where his research focuses on matters at the intersection of finance and security, including the use of finance as a tool of… Read More
A recent joint report by the European Banking Authority (EBA), the European Securities & Markets Authority and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (the Joint Supervisory Authorities, or JSAs) has highlighted current money laundering and terrorist financing risks to the EU’s financial sector participants. Transaction monitoring and suspicious… Read More
“Believe ME.” So says David Lewis, Executive Secretary of the FATF, in relation to the Mutual Evaluation [ME] Reports published in respect of countries assessed by the FATF. He also believes in what he does and what you and I do as fellow members of the Global AML/CTF Community.  He… Read More
The latest gathering of the global anti-financial crime standard-setter, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) – the first under its Chinese presidency – included a number of eye-catching items reflecting the incoming president’s Objectives statement.  The plenary considered long-ignored threats such as money laundering associated with the illegal… Read More