Australian bank Westpac admits breaching money-laundering laws

Tuesday 19 May 2020 09:56 CET | News

Westpac Banking has admitted to millions of breaches of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism laws in a filing in Australia’s Federal Court.

Still, the bank denied accusations it enabled illegal payments between known child sex offenders, according to Reuters. In its defence filing, the bank admitted it had failed to correctly report various international transfers of funds as required by law, adding that it accepted the gravity of the issues raised by the regulator AUSTRAC.

The statement said Westpac had admitted to record keeping failures and inadequate customer due diligence, as well as breaches of certain correspondent banking obligations. Furthermore, Westpac also admits that between 2013 to 2018, it failed to report to AUSTRAC 19,428,039 international transfer reports within 10 business days, as required by law.

It denies however, that it failed to carry out transaction risk assessments. Still, it admitted its risk rating systems ignored when its counterparty banks operated in jurisdictions ‘subject to trade or financial sanctions’.

Overall, the lender has already set aside USD 580 million for an expected fine from the case, Reuters concluded.
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Keywords: money laundering, bank, Australia, Westpac Banking, Counter Terrorism, financing , risk analysis, regulation
Categories: Fraud & Financial Crime
Countries: Australia
This article is part of category

Fraud & Financial Crime