Financial Transaction Reports Act 1988


An Act to provide for the reporting of certain transactions and transfers to the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) and to impose certain obligations in relation to accounts, and for related purposes.


The Commonwealth accepts no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of any material contained herein and recommends that users exercise their own skill and care with respect to its use. This notice must not be erased.

About the FTR Act

Australia's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing program places obligations on financial institutions and other financial intermediaries. Those obligations are contained in the Financial Transaction Reports Act 1988 (FTR Act), as well as the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act).

Note: the obligations of the FTR Act do not apply to a transaction to which the AML/CTF Act applies.

The FTR Act requires 'cash dealers', as defined, to report to the AUSTRAC CEO:

  • suspect transactions
  • cash transactions of A$10,000 or more or the foreign currency equivalent
  • international funds transfer instructions.

The FTR Act also requires cash dealers to verify the identity of persons who are signatories to accounts, and also prohibits accounts being opened or operated in a false name.

Cash dealers as defined in the FTR Act include:

  • banks, building societies and credit unions, referred to as 'financial institutions'
  • financial corporations
  • insurance companies and insurance intermediaries
  • securities dealers and futures brokers
  • cash carriers
  • managers and trustees of unit trusts
  • firms that deal in travellers cheques, money orders and the like
  • persons who collect, hold, exchange or remit currency on behalf of other persons
  • currency and bullion dealers
  • casinos and gambling houses
  • totalisator agency board.

The legislation provides penalties for avoiding the reporting requirements and in respect of false or incomplete information. It also has penalties for persons who facilitate or assist in these activities.

The reporting and identification requirements, backed by penalties for offences, provide a strong deterrent to money launderers and facilitators of money laundering. These provisions increase the level of risk associated with abuse of the Australian financial system by tax evaders and organised crime groups. It also adds to their costs of doing business and in particular in laundering their illicit profits.

The legislation also sets a standard which must be met by the cash dealers. Failure to meet the standard places the cash dealer at risk of being used in the process of money laundering or terrorism financing and thus subject to consequential penalties when detected. Penalties include pecuniary penalties and imprisonment.

Obligations on solicitors

The FTR Act may also require solicitors to report significant cash transactions of A$10,000 or more, or the foreign currency equivalent, to the AUSTRAC CEO.

Why should cash dealers and solicitors create an AUSTRAC Online business account?

To facilitate electronic submission of transaction reports by cash dealers and solicitors, an AUSTRAC Online business account can be created.

In addition to the benefits of less paperwork and faster submission of transaction reports, an AUSTRAC Online business account also provides cash dealers and solicitors with:

  • the ability to view and maintain their own information
  • a secure system enabling the protection of confidential information.

To create an AUSTRAC Online business account, please visit the enrolment and registration page.

Guide for cash dealers and solicitors on completing the ABPF (Word 1.5MB)

Further information


Last modified: ...


© Commonwealth of Australia - AUSTRAC 2014