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AUSTRAC expands civil penalty case against CBA

A further 100 alleged contraventions against the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) have been filed today by AUSTRAC, the Government’s financial intelligence and regulatory body, adding to the current civil penalty proceedings.

AUSTRAC CEO, Nicole Rose PSM, said that the additional alleged contraventions were identified after the civil penalty proceedings were instituted through AUSTRAC’s ongoing investigation into CBA.

‘These allegations are very serious and reflect systemic non-compliance over approximately six years’, Ms Rose said.

AUSTRAC now alleges over 53,800 contraventions of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006. In summary, the additional allegations are:

  • CBA failed to report two suspicious matters within 24 hours of forming a suspicion relating to the financing of terrorism.
  • 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.
  • Even after CBA became aware of suspected terrorism financing, money laundering and/or structuring on CBA accounts, in 38 instances it did not appropriately monitor its customers to mitigate and manage money laundering and terrorism financing (ML/TF) risk, including the ongoing ML/TF risks of doing business with those customers.
  • In six instances additional to those in the original statement of claim, CBA did not comply with the requirements of its own AML/CTF program to identify, mitigate and manage the ML/TF risks associated with intelligent deposit machines (IDMs).

The maximum penalty for an individual contravention alleged in the amended statement of claim is up to $21 million.

Ms Rose said that AUSTRAC is continuing to work with the CBA to help strengthen its AML/CTF processes. She added that CBA is also collaborating with AUSTRAC in its private/public sector partnership, the Fintel Alliance and AUSTRAC’s Smarter Regulation initiative.

‘As Australia’s AML/CTF regulator, we work with our 14,000 reporting entities to strengthen their AML/CTF programs and work to prevent future non-compliance, as well as collaborating on improving Australia’s AML/CTF architecture. This is integral to protecting the community from serious and organised crime and terrorism’, Ms Rose said.

Attachment A provides further details about the amended Statement of Claim (PDF, 121KB)

Media contact

Lancia Jordana, AUSTRAC Media and Communications:

  • P: (02) 9950 0488
  • M: 0418 103 107
  • Follow us on Twitter @AUSTRAC
Last modified: 14/12/2017 13:49