Australian Bank Faces More Charges from Financial Watchdog

Australia’s Commonwealth Bank faces more breaches claims

Australian Bank Faces More Charges from Financial Watchdog

It was alleged by Australia's financial intelligence and regulatory agency in August that CBA had been involved in "serious and systemic non-compliance" with the Act, originally detailing 53,700 alleged breaches, which included failing to hand 53,506 threshold transaction reports (TTRs) for cash transactions over AU$10,000 to Austrac through intelligent deposit machines (IDMs) for nearly three years between November 2012 and September 2015.

A further 100 alleged contraventions were filed today by AUSTRAC.

The statement of claim now includes alleged breaches from as early as December 2011, rather than May 2012 as in the original claim. "These allegations are very serious and reflect systemic non-compliance over approximately six years", said Nicole Rose CEO Austrac.

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In a statement to the ASX, the Commonwealth Bank said it will "review the amended statement of claim and update the market as appropriate", adding it will file an updated defence "in due course".

Australia's financial crime intelligence agency on Thursday widened its allegations against the country's largest bank, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, of failing to comply with measures to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing.

CBA shares shed about 14 per cent of their value over the five weeks immediately after AUSTRAC alleged it had failed to properly monitor potentially suspicious transactions. Within weeks, the bank announced that its chief executive Ian Narev will retire by June 30, 2018.

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CBA failed to report 54 suspicious matters either on time or at all in relation to accounts and individuals that were the subject of two further law enforcement operations.

In its first response, the bank admitted to breaching anti-money-laundering legislation 53,506 times, but said it was due to a "systems-related error".

The new statement of claim also highlights a number of new instances where AUSTRAC was not informed of suspicious transactions, despite demands from state police for details of a number of suspicious transactions and red flags being raised within the bank itself.

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