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Our regulatory and intelligence functions explained

27 September 2021

AUSTRAC’s intelligence and regulatory functions work in parallel to protect Australians and our financial system from serious and organised crime.

About the branches

The Regulatory Operations and Intelligence Partnerships branches at AUSTRAC work closely together to uplift the quality of reporting from regulated businesses and contribute financial intelligence to law enforcement and national security investigations.

Also within the regulatory and intelligence functions are the Education, Capability and Communications branch and Intelligence Operations branch, which will be covered in more detail in the December issue of InBrief.

Regulatory Operations

The Regulatory Operations branch helps our regulated businesses comply with their obligations to have systems and controls in place to manage risks. The branch also provides advice to help businesses protect themselves and the community from exploitation by criminals.

Financial transaction information and suspicious matter reports (SMRs) from businesses, together with insights gained through our compliance work, help the regulatory function to understand the money laundering and terrorism financing risks faced by each industry, and tailor advice to help you better meet your obligations and respond to risks. This promotes compliance and high-quality reporting to support our financial intelligence capability. AUSTRAC can take regulatory or enforcement actions in cases of non-compliance.

Read our approach to regulation.

Intelligence Partnerships

The Intelligence Partnerships branch provides financial intelligence expertise and operational support to a number of multi-agency law enforcement task forces.

Our financial intelligence specialists collaborate with law enforcement and national security partners to identify national security threats and detect and disrupt criminal networks and the proceeds of their crimes.

In addition to proactive intelligence detection and analysis work, this branch also includes our risk assessment team and AUSTRAC’s Fintel Alliance.

How your reporting helps us

Financial transaction reports and SMRs provide vital information to both the regulatory and intelligence branches at AUSTRAC. These teams work closely together to collect and analyse financial reports and information about potential criminal activity or risks to national security. This generates financial intelligence, which contributes to law enforcement investigations.

Read more about our recent work.