Westpac is ordered to pay $1.3billion – the biggest fine in Australian history – for breaching anti-money laundering rules more than 23 million times

  •  Westpac has agreed to pay a $1.3billion fine for breaching money laundering law

Westpac has agreed to pay a $1.3billion fine for breaching anti-money laundering rules – and enabling the funding of child exploitation and terror activities.

Australia’s second biggest bank has told the Australian Securities Exchange it had reached an agreement with AUSTRAC, the federal government agency charged with tackling organised crime.

Westpac has admitted to 23million breaches of anti-money laundering laws, including failing to report international funds transfers worth more than $11billion.  

The agreed statement of facts will be lodged in the Federal Court on Thursday morning. 

Westpac has agreed to pay a $1.3billion fine for breaching anti-money laundering rules

Westpac has agreed to pay a $1.3billion fine for breaching anti-money laundering rules

Westpac CEO Peter King offered an apology after agreeing to the biggest fine in Australian corporate history

 Westpac CEO Peter King offered an apology after agreeing to the biggest fine in Australian corporate history

Westpac CEO Peter King offered an apology after agreeing to the biggest fine in Australian corporate history. 

‘I would like to apologise sincerely for the bank’s failings,’ he said. 

His New York-born predecessor Brian Hartzer resigned as chief executive in November after AUSTRAC, also known as the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, alleged Westpac had allowed 12 customers to make almost 3,000 transactions involving child exploitation, adding up to $480,000.

That month, AUSTRAC chief executive Nicole Rose presented evidence showing the bank failed to carry out due diligence on high-risk transactions to the Philippines and South East Asia that carried potential child exploitation risks

Westpac had put aside $1.027billion in the first half of fiscal 2020 to fund any penalty from the money laundering scandal. 

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