As new and developing technologies make moving money around the world faster and easier, organised crime has been quick to take advantage of these opportunities. To combat money laundering, terrorism financing and other serious financial crime threats, a powerful global response is needed. AUSTRAC makes a significant contribution to international efforts by:
- exchanging information and intelligence with other AML/CTF financial intelligence units and regulators around the world
- playing an active role in international AML/CTF organisations
- supporting international partners through technical assistance and training.
Sharing information and intelligence
To combat money laundering and terrorism financing across borders, AUSTRAC shares information and intelligence with AML/CTF financial intelligence units (FIUs) and regulators around the world.
We negotiate written agreements (exchange instruments) with a foreign jurisdiction or organisation. These agreements set out the framework for how we will exchange information with foreign jurisdictions or organisations. You can see a list of exchange instruments.
Visit programs – bringing specialists together
AUSTRAC coordinates and customises international visit programs that bring together international analysts and financial intelligence specialists. We organise these visits to:
- build relationships between countries
- share technical assistance and training initiatives
- exchange information.
Each visit is different. They can last for a few hours or up to a week and can include presentations from partner agencies, or technical forums presented by the visiting party.
The nature of these visits depends on operational requirements and the exchange instruments in place.
We play an active role in international organisations that work to combat money laundering, terrorism financing and other financial crime.
- Financial Action Task Force (FATF). A global group that fights money laundering, terrorism financing and misuse of and threats to the international financial system using legal, regulatory and operational measures. Its members are governments across the world. AUSTRAC is a member of FATF and we participate in several working groups and initiatives.
- Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units. A united body made of up of financial intelligence units (FIUs) from more than 160 countries around the world, the Egmont group enables cooperation among FIUs. AUSTRAC is a founding member and lead Commonwealth agency.
- Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG). The APG is a FATF-style regional body for the Asia-Pacific region. Australia is a founding member of the APG and permanent co-chair of the group. AUSTRAC coordinates Australia's whole-of-government engagement with the APG.
We have observer status at:
- Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF)
- Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG)
Support through technical assistance and training (TA&T)
We deliver technical assistance and training (TA&T) programs to our neighbours’ financial intelligence units and regulators to help them develop stronger AML/CTF capabilities. Our TA&T programs are designed to help:
- strengthen skills
- improve governance
- increase compliance with international standards.
These programs contribute to regional security and help them achieve sustainable development. We work with recipients through:
- mentoring and capacity building workshops in their country
- workshops and conferences in their country
- ongoing off-site mentoring and IT assistance.
Examples of our TA&T programs include:
- supporting Papua New Guinea’s Effective Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Reform (SPEAR) – improving the capacity of PNG’s Financial Analysis and Supervision Unit (their local FIU) to track and combat money laundering and terrorism financing
- Pusat Pelaporan Dan Analisis Transaksi Keuangan (PPATK)-AUSTRAC Partnership Program (PAPP) in Indonesia – an anti-money laundering/counter terrorism financing partnership and capacity-building program to strengthen the skills and governance frameworks of PPATK, Indonesia's FIU, and other stakeholders
- Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC)-AUSTRAC Partnership Program (AAPP) in the Philippines – mentoring and training for IT and analyst staff, staff exchanges to improve compliance and regulation, and assistance with FATF Mutual Evaluation preparations.
25th Egmont Plenary 2018
The Egmont Group was formed in 1995. It is an increasing network of financial intelligence units. It provides a forum to exchange expertise and financial intelligence to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.
AUSTRAC hosted the 25th Egmont Plenary in Sydney from 23 to 28 September 2018. The theme was public private partnerships (PPPs) and how both sectors can work together to fight financial crime. We gave presentations on the Fintel Alliance and the Financial Intelligence Analyst Course (FIAC).
The Plenary event, for the heads of financial intelligence units from around the world, involved:
- six days of meetings
- 419 delegates from 120 countries
- over 40 official meetings (including AUSTRAC bilateral and Egmont meetings)
- 50+ Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) signed across Egmont Group members.
Counter Terrorism Financing Summit
The first Counter Terrorism Financing (CTF) Summit was held in Sydney in November 2015. Co-founded by AUSTRAC and the Indonesian FIU PPATK, the Summit is a leading example of countries cooperating to understand and respond to terrorism financing and other significant financial threats.
The Summit is attended by heads of financial intelligence units and senior representatives from regulatory, law enforcement, national security and policy agencies. There are also delegates from industry and academia.
2019 CTF Summit, Manila
The 5th regional CTF Summit took place in Manila in November 2019, and was co-hosted by AUSTRAC, PPATK and the Philippines FIU Anti-Money Laundering Council. The theme of the Summit was ‘Together United - Strengthening Our Region’.
Learn more about the 2019 CTF Summit and its outcomes:
- Manila Communique
- Regional threat assessment: on laundering of corruption proceeds (PDF, 1.19 MB)
- Media release: Countering terrorist financing and victim-based crime in South East Asia
2018 CTF Summit, Bangkok
We were a partner in the 4th regional CTF Summit in Bangkok in November 2018. The summit was hosted by Thailand’s FIU, the Anti-Money Laundering Office, in partnership with Indonesia’s FIU PPATK and AUSTRAC.
The outcomes of the 2018 summit included:
- the Bangkok Communique (PDF, 602KB), a roadmap for regional collaboration
- the Non-profit organisations & terrorism financing red flag indicators 2018 report (PDF, 2.3MB) that details the warning signs for non-profit organisations at high risk of misuse for terrorism financing
- a secure information-sharing platform prototype
- an international intelligence analyst exchange ‘hubbing’ exercise.
Financial Intelligence Consultative Group 2019
The Financial Intelligence Consultative Group (FICG) is the operational arm of the CTF Summit, consisting of the heads of intelligence from ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand. It is co-chaired by Australia and Indonesia. Key outcomes of the FICG to date include:
- the first regional risk assessment on terrorism financing
- assessment of not-for-profit organisations and cross-border movement of currency
- not-for-profit organisations’ red flag indicators’ paper, and
- an international FIU Codeathon.
The FICG facilitates the South East Asia Counter Terrorism Financing Working Group (SEA CTFWG), which was established to provide practical mechanisms for regional FIUs to progress strategic priorities, coordinate and operational work to combat regional terrorism financing, especially linked to ISIL affiliate organisations.
Australia’s first financial intelligence codeathon saw teams of six technology experts and other innovators working together to solve complex AML/CTF challenges in just 32 hours. Hosted by AUSTRAC in the lead-up to the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in March 2018, the codeathon built on regional partnerships between financial intelligence units and industry.
Teams of developers, designers, analysts, engineers, financial institutions, and other experts were asked to tackle a topic from a list of challenges announced on the day:
- using big data to combat terrorism financing
- disrupting money launderers, terrorists and cyber criminals across ASEAN-Australia
- exploiting financial data to gain insights into crime and terrorism risks
- applying artificial intelligence to improve AML/CTF compliance and suspicious matter reporting
- applying blockchain technologies to improve financial services, AML compliance or secure intelligence sharing
- collaboration and knowledge sharing to combat cybercrime, money laundering and terrorism.
With mentoring provided by subject experts and prizes awarded by judges from government and industry, the codeathon provided an opportunity for participants from Australia and its ASEAN partners to collaborate and innovate.
It’s a tangible way that Australia and our ASEAN partners can resolve joint AML/CTF issues.
In March 2018 ASEAN and Australia signed a Counter Terrorism Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU strengthens our cooperation to combat terrorism, counter terrorism financing and counter violent extremism. Two of the main outcomes relating to terrorism financing were the establishment of a regional Financial Intelligence Analyst Course (FIAC) and a Multilateral Analyst Exchange Program (MAEP).
- Drawing on the membership of the CTF Summit, we have developed and are delivering four two-week regional FIACs, involving all ASEAN countries.
- The regional FIACs are aimed at building financial intelligence skills, capability and tradecraft to understand, detect, prevent and disrupt financial crime.
- The first MAEP exercise was held in Kuala Lumpur in August 2018. Participants from six countries explored opportunities for spontaneous disclosure of information amongst regional FIUs.
- The second MAEP exercise was held in Kuala Lumpur in April/May 2019. Twenty four participants attended from 11 jurisdictions.
AUSTRAC’s international presence
Our regionally based officers support the work of the CTF Summit and other initiatives. We have:
- two officers located with our FIU counterpart in Jakarta at PPATK
- an officer in Kuala Lumpur to deepen multilateral cooperation across the region
- an officer in Manila, at the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), the Philippines’ FIU
- an officer in Guangzhou to enhance relationships with Chinese financial intelligence and regulatory counterparts.
We also have officers in Washington and London to deepen our partnerships in those jurisdictions.
The content on this website is general and is not legal advice. Before you make a decision or take a particular action based on the content on this website, you should check its accuracy, completeness, currency and relevance for your purposes. You may wish to seek independent professional advice.