Westpac agrees to record $1.3b AUSTRAC penalty

Westpac has agreed to pay one of the biggest penalties in Australian legal history, agreeing with AUSTRAC to pay a $1.3 billion penalty in relation to admitted contraventions of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism and Financing Act.

Westpac has told the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) that as part of the settlement it has admitted to additional contraventions.

Commenting on the agreement with AUSTRAC, Westpac chief executive, Peter King, said he wanted to apologise sincerely for the bank’s failings.

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“We are committed to fixing the issues to ensure that these mistakes do not happen again,” he said.

“This agreement is an important step in the court process. It provides more certainty to all our stakeholders as we continue to implement the measures in our Response Plan and complete the implementation of recommendations from the review that have been conducted.”

Westpac in its first-half results provided for an estimated penalty of $900 million and associated costs.

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It concerns me on how any institution can monitor 23 million transactions and report them to Austrac, and how Austrac can review 23 million transactions. Is this really going to work?

Oh dear Robin. Bless you.
International Funds Transfer Instructions (IFTI) - money sent in or out of Australia - have to be reported to Austrac within 10 days.
They didn't report the transactions. Done. Broke the law.
...and yes, Austrac is apparently really good at sifting this information. You would be amazed what can be done in the southern states these days since the war.

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