Australia adds to money laundering claims against bank
December 14 2017 10:17 AM
Commonwealth Bank of Australia is the country's largest company by market capitalisation.


Australia's financial crimes watchdog has added more than 100 new claims against the Commonwealth Bank of Australia for failing to comply with anti-money laundering laws, including late reporting of attempts to wire money as recently as August by an individual convicted of terror-related offences.
The claims add to those included in a civil case that the watchdog filed in August, in which the watchdog accused CBA of several breaches of law including failing to identify, monitor and report money transfers over A$10,000 ($7,663), in contravention of the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing Act.
"These allegations are very serious and reflect systemic non-compliance over approximately six years", Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (Austrac) Chief Executive Nicole Rose said in a statement.
CBA on Wednesday formally admitted to a range of allegations levelled against it, but disputed the number of contraventions. On Thursday, it said it would file an amended defence in due course.
"We take our anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing ... obligations extremely seriously, and deeply regret any failure on our part to comply with these obligations," CBA said in a statement on Thursday.
The amended claims included attempts to wire money to Beirut by a person who was in 2005 convicted of terrorism-related activities which was not reported to Austrac within 24 hours, as required, according to a filing with Australia's Federal Court.
"In spite of concluding on 26 June 2017, that potential terrorism financing was being conducted on CommBank Account 184, a stop was not put on CommBank Account 184 until 9 August 2017," Austrac said in court documents.
CBA on Wednesday said the late filings of many reports were the result of a single systems-related error.
The maximum penalty for a single contravention is up to $21mn.
Austrac is continuing to work with the CBA to help strengthen its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing processes, Rose said. 

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