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Anti-money laundering law breaches

OPINION: BREAKING BAD (NEWS) – While the world is in panic there has probably never been a better time to break some bad news and yesterday it was HSBC Australia’s turn to self report compliance breaches to AUSTRAC.  At this point in time it is unclear what obligations the compliance breaches relate to, how many breaches there have been, how long these may have been going on for or who knew what before yesterday’s disclosure.

The question now is what will AUSTRAC do with this information in light of the current #COVID-19 situation, which largely depends on the seriousness of the self-disclosed breaches and whether they have the will or resources to simultaneously take on further enforcement actions against major financial institutions.

This raises a broader question about AUSTRAC’s posture towards enforcing non-compliance among any suspected or confirmed anti-money laundering compliance failings among the 14,700 businesses that they regulate, many of whom will have already been hit hard by #COVID-19.

Read more on ABC News Australia; article by Peter Ryan titled Global Bank HSBC owns up to potential anti-money laundering law breaches.

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