Australian Regulator Deepens Compliance Case Against Commonwealth Bank

By Robb M. StewartFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

MELBOURNE, Australia--Australia's financial-intelligence agency on Thursday expanded its lawsuit against Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA.AU), alleging a further 100 compliance breaches of the country's Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act.

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, or Austrac, in all now alleges over 53,800 contraventions of the act, each of which carries a maximum penalty of up to 21 million Australian dollars (US$16 million).

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The widening of the civil proceedings against Commonwealth Bank come a day after the nation's biggest bank filed its response to the earlier claims with the federal court in Sydney, contesting a number of allegations but admitting to others, including late submission of 53,506 compulsory transaction reports on deposits of A$10,000 or more which it said were caused by a systems error.

Austrac said that among the fresh claims, Commonwealth Bank allegedly failed to report two matters within 24 hours of the bank becoming suspicious that money was being used to finance terrorism. It said Commonwealth Bank also allegedly failed to report 54 other suspicious matters either on time or at all.

Write to Robb M. Stewart at robb.stewart@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 13, 2017 22:49 ET (03:49 GMT)