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CBA Expects $375 Million Penalty

Thursday 8 February 2018


The Commonwealth Bank of Australia is expected to pay $375 million in penalties as a result of its money laundering compliance scandal. This amount far outstrips TABCORP’s previous record-breaking penalty of $45 million.

CBA has further pledged $200 million to undertake regulatory, compliance and remediation programs.

Soon-to-be-replaced CBA Chief Executive, Ian Narev, said, “During this period, we have focused a great deal of effort on fixing our mistakes, and becoming a better bank. The pride and dedication of our people have also enabled continuing business momentum across CBA. This result underlines the continued impact of our strategy of investing in our people and technology. Customer satisfaction has remained high, and customers are doing more with us, with transaction account volumes a stand-out. Combined with disciplined margin management, on-going productivity and stable credit quality, this has again produced industry-leading underlying performance.”

 

Is the amount sufficient?
While $375 million is record-breaking, it remains to be seen whether the amount will be sufficient for the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).

In December of last year, AUSTRAC alleged a further 100 contraventions against the CBA.

Nicole Rose, new CEO of the financial intelligence agency, said the allegations are serious and reflect at least six years of systemic non-compliance.

Rose was referring to the 53,8000 total contraventions of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006.

 

AUSTRAC Fact Sheet
AUSTRAC said the maximum penalty for each contravention could be up to $21 million.

CBA’s announcement coincides with the factsheet published by AUSTRAC to help businesses comply with their beneficial ownership requirement.  

The financial intelligence unit’s Acting National Manager Compliance, Dr Rachel Challis, said the published fact sheet ‘draws’ on feedback and compliance assessments.

"We are confident this fact sheet will assist those reporting entities that may be struggling to understand their obligations or implement their processes," she said.


Click here to access the beneficial ownership obligation factsheet.