Thursday, April 22, 2021

Westpac to face further action from Australia bank watchdog in money laundering scandal

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Australia’s banking watchdog is weighing what further action might be needed to address the money-laundering scandal at Westpac Banking Corp, the agency’s head said on Monday.

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) Chairman Wayne Byres told a parliamentary committee the allegations from the country’s financial crime agency, AUSTRAC, against Westpac were “very serious”.

“While we must be careful not to duplicate or cut across matters for which AUSTRAC is the appropriate regulator, and which are before the courts, we are actively considering what further action by APRA is required,” said Byres.

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“This includes examining whether obligations under the Banking Executive Accountability Regime have been met, and how Westpac’s management of operational and compliance risks more broadly needs to be enhanced.”

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