These money laundering/terrorism financing (ML/TF) reports are an important collaborative undertaking between industry and government to discover, understand and disrupt criminal financial activity.
Each report provides an overall risk rating, based on an assessment of the criminal threat environment, the vulnerabilities in the sector, and the associated consequences.
They are intended as a resource for reporting entities to:
- improve and refine ML/TF risk assessments and internal controls
- meet their reporting obligations under the AML/CTF Act, particularly the requirement to submit Suspicious Matter Reports to AUSTRAC.
The overall ML/TF risk for the securities and derivatives sector is assessed as medium. Australia’s securities and derivatives sector attracts a wide range of criminal threats that often involve sophisticated tactics and methods. Serious and organised crime groups have exploited the sector to launder money and engage in market manipulation. The most common crime type reported in the sector is fraud; with money laundering, insider trading and market manipulation also posing risk.
AUSTRAC assessed the overall ML/TF risk associated with the use of stored value cards (SVCs) to be medium, and their vulnerability to criminal misuse to be high. The report found that the risk level of individual SVCs varies significantly depending on the features of the specific product. Travel cards that can be reloaded and redeemed offshore in cash carry significantly higher levels of risk than low value retail gift cards. The most common crime-types in which SVCs are implicated are money laundering and cyber-enabled fraud. Of particular concern is the use of SVCs for terrorism financing purposes.
AUSTRAC assessed the overall risk of ML/TF activity as medium. The report found that as financial planners facilitate access to financial services for their customers, this can make them susceptible to exploitation for criminal purposes. It also means planners are well-placed to detect suspicious behaviour by their customers. The report encourages the financial planning sector as a whole to ensure that AML/CTF compliance is a greater part of the organisational culture.
AUSTRAC identified higher than anticipated risks of fraud, cybercrime and terrorism financing in the superannuation sector, and has assessed the overall risk of ML/TF activity as medium. This report aims to develop awareness in the sector of these risks and help harden APRA-regulated superannuation funds against criminal activity.