ANZ bank reveals it is reviewing its money-laundering systems amid Westpac scandal
27 Nov 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, after questions from investors over the past few days prompted by bombshell regulatory action against Westpac that has seen off the bank’s chairman, chief executive and a director with oversight of risk.

ANZ’s announcement came as political pressure on Westpac continued, with Labor’s finance spokesman, Andrew Leigh, calling for the bank’s executives to be recalled immediately to face grilling at a parliamentary committee.

Westpac’s share price fell on Wednesday, dropping more than 1.7.% by 12.30 and erasing gains it clawed back on Tuesday when the chairman, Lindsay Maxsted, the CEO, Brian Hartzer, and the non-executive director Ewen Crouch announced they would be resigning.

The bank’s share price has fallen more than 7% since last Wednesday, when the financial intelligence agency Austrac launched legal action accusing it of breaching anti-money-laundering laws more than 23m times in transactions involving $11bn and linking its failures to child exploitation in the Philippines.

ANZ said it was not aware of any impending litigation from Austrac.

By Ben Butler, The Guardian, 27 November 2019

Read more at The Guardian

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