Commonwealth Bank responds to transaction monitoring failure allegations


Commonwealth Bank chief executive Ian Narev will retire by the end of the 2018 financial year.

Commonwealth Bank CEO Ian Narev defending allegations the lender breached money laundering and terrorism financing laws earlier last month. Picture: AFP

COMMONWEALTH Bank has responded to revelations it failed to monitor transactions in the USA, Asia and Europe.

An internal review of the bank’s compliance with Australian and global anti-money laundering and counter terrorism laws reportedly showed large-scale failures in transaction monitoring across a multitude of businesses around the world, according to Sky News Business.

This followed action earlier last month when Austrac, the regulator responsible for tracking suspicious transactions, filed a lawsuit claiming Commonwealth Bank had breached anti-money laundering requirements on 53,700 occasions since 2012. Many of the alleged breaches surrounded the bank’s “intelligent” ATM deposit scheme.

Sky reports the confidential review of CommBank’s institutional banking and markets was presented to senior bank executives.

But the banking giant has hit back, saying it “maintains proactive relationships with all relevant global regulators on these and other matters”.

The internal review was a working document, the banks says in a statement, proposing modifications to its automated deposit system. It says $230 million is being spent as part of a “Program of Action” to “strengthen policies and processes related to financial crimes compliance”.

It says a Committee of the Board of the Bank was established on August 8 to oversee Austrac’s claim.

“This Program is working to strengthen the Group’s anti-money laundering frameworks,” CommBank says.

“The Committee, which meets weekly, is requesting and considering information and reports from management relating to the progress of the Program, as well as making recommendations to the Board on matters of accountability.”

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