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Westpac: a money-laundering scandal

Westpac: a money-laundering scandal

Record $920 million fine over transactions made in bad faith

It seems that this week has been the one when banks came under scrutiny for wrongdoings. If earlier, we talked about the $2 trillion worth of illicit transactions facilitated by Deutsche Bank, HSBC,JPMorgan – which was fined with almost $1 billion for spoofing, now, Westpac, one of the largest Australian banks, came under the microscope.

The bank has to pay a $920 million fine to AUSTRAC – an Australian regulator that fights financial crime. The decision came after last year, Australian regulators pursued legal action after Westpac failed to report millions of instructions in and out of the country. It turned out that Australia neglected its due diligence when making transfers in and out of the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries. The transfers indicated to potential child exploitation.

Besides the fine, Westpac admitted having broken the anti-money laundering and terrorism financing laws more than 23 million times.

This fine is the largest corporate penalty in the country’s history. The previous record was set in 2018 when the same Westpac admitted that it failed to obey the laws regarding #money laundering and terrorism.

Westpac CEO Peter King stated that the company changed how it supervises transactions and has hired people to specifically oversee the potential financial crimes.

Following the news, Westpac stock price fell 1%. Currently, the share is trading 5.46% higher.

Read about the $2 trillion scandal here!

Sources: edition.cnn.com, finance.yahoo.com


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