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Media releases

Westpac and AUSTRAC have today agreed to a 1.3 billion dollar proposed penalty over Westpac’s breaches of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act). Westpac and AUSTRAC have agreed that the proposed penalty reflects the seriousness and magnitude of compliance failings by Westpac.

As announced by the Attorney-General and Minister Dutton, I am pleased to confirm that AUSTRAC and Westpac have reached an agreement in which Westpac has admitted to over 23 million breaches of the AML/CTF Act and has agreed to pay a civil penalty of 1.3 billion dollars.

The Federal Court will now determine whether an order for the proposed penalty is appropriate. Subject to the Federal Court’s findings, both AUSTRAC and Westpac agree that this agreement reflects the seriousness and magnitude of compliance failings by Westpac.

AUSTRAC has issued an infringement notice to State Street Bank and Trust Company (State Street) for over $1.24 million for failing to report international funds transfers.

Today, AUSTRAC announced a change to the AML/CTF customer ID and verification Rule to help people experiencing family and domestic violence. Under the rule, if a customer cannot produce their driver’s license or birth certificate, or show a different address, banks and other regulated businesses can use alternative ways to verify their customer’s identity.

The Australian Government has seen a disturbing trend in violence used against children.

The Home Affairs Portfolio is leading the Government’s efforts in countering child sexual exploitation and abuse in the physical and online world. 

A 63-year-old Sydney man accused of travelling to the Philippines to sexually abuse children is expected to face court today charged with possessing child abuse material and ‘child sex tourism’ offences.

Several people have been charged by WA Police Force as part of an investigation into a suspected Vietnamese Established Criminal Network involved in money laundering activity.

AUSTRAC and Great Britain Gambling Commission have today strengthened their cooperation in the fight against serious financial crime and terrorism financing through the signing of a regulatory Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in London.

AUSTRAC, Australia’s anti money-laundering and terrorism financing regulator, has today applied to the Federal Court of Australia for civil penalty orders against Westpac Banking Corporation (Westpac).

The civil penalty orders relate to systemic non-compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act). AUSTRAC alleges Westpac contravened the AML/CTF Act on over 23 million occasions.

AUSTRAC and its Qatar counterpart, the Qatar Financial Intelligence Unit (QFIU), have today strengthened their cooperation in the fight against serious financial crime and terrorism financing.

AUSTRAC CEO, Nicole Rose PSM and QFIU Deputy Head, Mohammed Al-Mufthah, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) while attending the Counter-Terrorism Financing Summit in Manila, Philippines.