AUSTRAC, Australia’s anti money-laundering and terrorism financing regulator, has issued a $1.24m infringement notice to State Street Bank and Trust Company for lapses in reporting international funds transfers.
The Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 requires financial firms to report IFTIs to AUSTRAC within 10 business days of sending or receiving the instruction.
The data in IFTIs enables law enforcement agencies to fight cross-border crime ncluding tax evasion, terrorism, and drug trafficking.
At present, the watchdog is working along the firm to address compliance issues with their IFTI reporting systems.
AUSTRAC CEO Nicole Rose said: “Because the most sophisticated criminal syndicates operate across national borders, information about international funds transfers can provide a key piece of the puzzle for our law enforcement partners.”
Rose stated that accurate and timely reporting of financial transactions are necessary as law enforcement authorities use this data to track serious and organised crime.
Rose added: “Businesses are the first line of defence in protecting the community and our financial system from criminal abuse so it is critical for AML/CTF compliance and risk management to be embedded into everyday business practices to protect customers and businesses from criminals.”
Other moves by AUSTRAC
Last year, AUSTRAC approached the federal court seeking civil penalty orders against Australian banking group Westpac.
The watchdog accused the bank of over 23 million violations of anti-money laundering laws.
In 2017, AUSTRAC filed a civil suit against Commonwealth Bank for alleged money laundering and financial crime.
The regulator accused the bank of violating Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act over 53,700 times, mainly associated with intelligent deposit machines (IDMs).
The two parties eventually struck A$700m settlement agreement.