ASIC won’t take action against CBA over money laundering scandal
27 Aug 2020

The corporate watchdog won’t be taking any action against Commonwealth Bank or its directors over a money laundering scandal that engulfed the banking giant three years ago.

In the immediate aftermath of an explosive 2017 lawsuit against CBA for money laundering breaches, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission said it was looking into whether the bank and its directors had properly disclosed material information to investors.

ASIC also said at the time it would look into whether the bank complied with licensing obligations to act efficiently, honestly and fairly, and its financial reporting duties, including whether the potential fine should have been treated as a contingent liability in CBA’s accounts.

On Wednesday night, CBA told investors it had been notified by ASIC that the watchdog had finished its investigation and would not take any enforcement action.

The news removes one potential risk facing the bank and comes as it fends off a class action launched on behalf of investors over the money laundering compliance scandal.

CBA was thrown into turmoil by the 2017 money laundering lawsuit from the financial intelligence agency AUSTRAC, which said millions of dollars had been laundered through the bank’s ATMs by criminals, including drug and firearms importers.

The bank ultimately settled the case for a record $700 million penalty, after it admitted to a host of breaches, including failing to properly file more than 53,000 reports to AUSTRAC over cash deposits of more than $10,000.

By Clancy Yeates, The Sydney Morning Herald, 26 August 2020

Read more at The Sydney Morning Herald

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