COMMBANK FACES MASSIVE FINES FOR BREACH OF ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORISM FINANCING LAWS

COMMBANK FACES MASSIVE FINES FOR BREACH OF ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORISM FINANCING LAWS

THE Commonwealth Bank engaged in 'serious' and systemic breaches of anti-money laundering and terrorism financing laws and could face massive criminal penalties.

The Australian Transactions Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) launched proceedings in the Federal Court alleging Commonwealth Bank failed to comply with the laws on more than 50,000 occasions.

It's been alleged the bank breached the law for a period of three years and relates to its network of so-called 'intelligent' automated cash deposit machines (IDMs).

The IDMs used by the Commonwealth Bank accept deposits both by cash and by cheque and the transactions had a total value of $624million.

AUSTRAC's statement to the court alleges that deposits are automatically counted and instantly credited to an account which can be located both domestically and internationally.

The statement points out that the IDMs can accept up to 200 notes per deposit or up to $20,000 per cash transaction with no limit on the number of transactions per day.

AUSTRAC, which is the federal government's financial crime agency, alleges the bank did not adequately monitor the use of the IDM's or assess the risk of money laundering or terrorism finance through their use.

The maximum penalty for each of the 53,700 contraventions is up to $18 million and it could easily surpass the $45 million fine handed down to Tabcorp earlier this year for failing to comply with anti-money laundering and terror financing laws.

Business News Australia

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