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AUSTRAC’s regulatory and intelligence functions explained (part two)

13 December 2021

In the last issue of InBrief, we explained how the Regulatory Operations and Intelligence Partnerships branches at AUSTRAC work together to protect Australians and our financial system from serious and organised crime.

In part two of this series, we take a closer look at the Education, Capability and Communications and Intelligence Operations branches.

Education, Capability and Communications

The Education, Capability and Communication branch brings together specialist skills, knowledge and expertise to strengthen AUSTRAC’s capability and capacity to protect Australia’s financial system from criminal abuse. To achieve this, we communicate with and educate industry about their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) obligations and build understanding of financial crime risks.

The branch runs AUSTRAC’s comprehensive industry education program, which helps regulated businesses understand their risks and meet their compliance and reporting obligations. This education is tailored for each sector and includes a range of guidance material and outreach activities. For more information, see our guidance resources.

The branch is involved in policy considerations in the current AML/CTF regime and considering future AML/CTF policy issues and does this through working closely with the Department of Home Affairs and other stakeholders. The Branch is also working to enhance the AUSTRAC Online platform over the next four years to improve your online reporting experience. The enhanced system will support future reporting volumes, making it easier for you to fulfil your compliance obligations.

Intelligence Operations

The Intelligence Operations branch produces value added financial intelligence reporting on large-scale money laundering, national security threats and cybercrime and leads international partner engagement.

The Branch conducts sophisticated analysis using transaction and suspicious matter reporting from reporting entities and a range of other data sources to identify potential criminal activity and threats to national security. The branch works collaboratively with our partners, providing financial intelligence to support law enforcement and national security operations.

To combat money laundering and terrorism financing across borders, the Branch is also responsible for sharing intelligence with other financial intelligence units and regulators around the world.

How your reporting helps us

Financial transaction reports and SMRs provide vital information to both the regulatory and intelligence branches at AUSTRAC. The information generated from your reports plays a crucial role in identifying potential illegal activity and assists in the detection and prevention of the flow of illegal funds through Australia’s financial system.