The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has been accused of turning a blind eye on black money running through its banking network worth millions of dollars by The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).
The Australian Transactions Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) launched civil proceedings against the Commonwealth Bank in the Federal Court on Thursday the 3rd August 2017 for an alleged 53,700 “serious and systemic” breaches of money laundering and counter-terrorism legislation.
According to AUSTRAC an incredible $8.9 billion was deposited into thousands of its ATM deposit machines before it started to check if criminals might be misusing the machines, even after it “became aware of suspected money laundering” through its accounts they failed to inform anyone.
Gambling company Tabcorp was fined $45 million earlier this year for money laundering breaches and it is a very serious offence as far as the Australian Government is concerned.
In 2012, the Commonwealth Bank rolled out thousands of ‘intelligent deposit machines’. These ATM machines accept cash and cheques anonymously – which means criminals or terrorist sympathisers could potentially deposit up to $20,000 in cash or 50 cheques at a time without ever meeting a bank teller or providing ID.
AUSTRAC said the bank “took no steps” to assess the risk that these machines might be used for money laundering and counter-terrorism financing until mid-2015, three years after the machines had been rolled out across the nation.
The Commonwealth Bank responded saying that they are “reviewing the nature of the proceedings”, and that it took its regulatory obligations “extremely seriously”.
The Commonwealth Bank said in a statement “We have been in discussions with AUSTRAC for an extended period and have cooperated fully with their requests. Over the same period we have worked to continuously improve our compliance and have kept AUSTRAC abreast of those efforts, which will continue,”.
AUSTRAC’s allegations mainly related to the bank’s alleged tardiness in telling the agency each time more than $10,000 was deposited in one of its machines, it is not hard to do and why this was not done is currently being investigated because by law, all banks must inform the regulator when $10,000 or more is deposited. regarding the Commonwealth Bank’s issue it took them 3 years to report 53,506 high-value deposits which equated to $624.7 million between November 2012 and September 2015.
AUSTRAC also alleged the bank “became aware” of suspect activity on its accounts but “did not monitor its customers to mitigate” the risks.
Original Source: The New Daily