The criminal threats facing the financial planning sector in Australia will almost certainly persist in future years. Financial planners are well-placed to detect suspicious behaviour by their customers, and play an important role in supporting Australia’s AML/CTF operations. Similarly, financial planners can help protect their customers, particularly from cyber-enabled crimes executed by third parties. Greater vigilance and increased reporting of suspicious activity by financial planners will serve to better protect and strengthen the sector.
AUSTRAC’s view is that, despite the challenges, the financial planning sector as a whole must ensure that AML/CTF compliance is a greater part of the organisational culture for financial planners.
AUSTRAC believes that significant opportunity exists for financial planners to leverage this assessment to expand their suspicious matter reporting and strengthen internal controls against financial crime. AUSTRAC will continue to support the sector by providing advice and guidance on their AML/CTF obligations and the ML/TF risks present in the sector. In addition, AUSTRAC will monitor SMR trends after the publication of this assessment to determine if reporting levels have increased across the sector, and this information will inform future intelligence-led compliance activities.
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