CBA settles AML case with AUSTRAC
(5 June 2018 – Australia) Commonwealth Bank of Australia has agreed to pay a record A$700 million fine over anti-money laundering allegations brought against it by AUSTRAC.
The settlement, if approved by the Federal Court, will be the largest civil penalty in Australian history and is along double the amount the bank had set aside, signalling the tougher regulatory framework Australian banks face following revelations of widespread misconduct.
CBA admitted it had breached money laundering and terror financing laws on 53,750 occasions, according to a statement of facts tendered in court by both parties. Suspicious transactions were repeatedly not reported, and monitoring processes failed, it said. The lender also failed to adequately notify the regulator of transactions linked to several customers who posed “a potential risk of terrorism or terrorism financing”.
Matt Comyn, who took over as CEO following Ian Narev’s departure over the scandal said in a statement, “while not deliberate, we fully appreciate the seriousness of the mistakes we made. Our agreement today is a clear acknowledgement of our failures and is an important step towards moving the bank forward.”