Australia's biggest bank hit with record fine for money-laundering scandal

Commonwealth Bank of Australia will pay the biggest corporate fine in the country's history for failings that allowed...

Posted: Jun 4, 2018 12:27 PM
Updated: Jun 4, 2018 12:27 PM

Commonwealth Bank of Australia will pay the biggest corporate fine in the country's history for failings that allowed drug gangs to launder money.

The record punishment for Australia's largest bank is the latest blow to the country's financial sector, which has been rocked by a series of scandals recently.

Austrac, a regulator that focuses on financial crime, said Monday that CBA would pay $700 million Australian dollars ($534 million) to settle a lawsuit after the bank admitted it failed to observe laws to prevent money laundering and financing of terrorism.

Between 2012 and 2015, CBA failed to report more than 53,000 suspicious transactions using its ATMs to authorities on time. Drug gangs laundered money by taking advantage of a loophole that allowed for large, anonymous deposits to CBA accounts, Austrac said.

"As we have seen in this case, criminals will exploit poor business practices to launder the proceeds of their crimes," Austrac CEO Nicole Rose said in a statement.

Related: One of Australia's top financial firms is in crisis

"This has real impacts on the everyday lives of Australians and puts the community at risk by increasing opportunities for terrorists to support attacks here and overseas, and enabling organized crime groups to peddle drugs to our families and friends," she added.

Austrac first began legal action against the bank 10 months ago. CBA's payment of the fine is dependent on the settlement being accepted by Australia's federal court.

"While not deliberate, we fully appreciate the seriousness of the mistakes we made," CBA CEO Matt Comyn said in a statement. "Our agreement today is a clear acknowledgment of our failures and is an important step towards moving the bank forward. I apologize to the community for letting them down."

CBA has blamed the failure to report suspicious transactions on time on a coding error in its computer systems.

Related: Australia's top bank says it charged dead clients for advice

It's the second blow in just over two months for the bank, whose shares are down about 13% so far this year.

In April, CBA admitted to charging fees to clients it knew had died years previously.

The bank told a Royal Commission inquiry that the practice of billing deceased customers for financial advice stretched back years. In one instance, an adviser at the bank's financial planning business was collecting fees from a client more than a decade after they had died.

A Royal Commission is Australia's highest form of public inquiry. It was ordered by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the end of last year in a bid to restore public confidence in the country's financial sector.

The commission is due to submit its findings to the government in February 2019.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 57162

Reported Deaths: 1660
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin18197820
Ramsey7047261
Dakota4049103
Anoka3410113
Stearns284220
Washington193843
Nobles17496
Olmsted163523
Scott141017
Mower10842
Rice10028
Blue Earth8595
Wright8205
Carver7922
Clay75240
Kandiyohi6771
Sherburne6577
St. Louis45319
Todd4202
Lyon4163
Freeborn3551
Steele3331
Nicollet32013
Benton3103
Watonwan2990
Winona24916
Crow Wing21313
Martin2045
Le Sueur2021
Beltrami2000
Chisago1821
Otter Tail1793
Goodhue1778
Cottonwood1730
Becker1471
Pipestone1439
McLeod1400
Unassigned14040
Polk1353
Itasca13412
Douglas1320
Waseca1300
Pine1280
Carlton1260
Dodge1230
Murray1221
Isanti1100
Chippewa991
Brown852
Faribault840
Meeker832
Morrison821
Wabasha820
Sibley802
Rock750
Koochiching743
Pennington731
Jackson700
Mille Lacs683
Cass622
Fillmore610
Renville605
Lincoln540
Swift521
Grant511
Yellow Medicine490
Roseau460
Pope450
Houston390
Norman370
Hubbard320
Redwood320
Marshall290
Kanabec281
Wilkin283
Aitkin270
Mahnomen241
Wadena230
Big Stone220
Red Lake200
Lake180
Stevens160
Clearwater150
Traverse100
Lac qui Parle60
Kittson30
Cook20
Lake of the Woods10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 46100

Reported Deaths: 887
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk9781203
Woodbury365651
Black Hawk302262
Linn214587
Johnson195915
Dallas179635
Buena Vista178612
Scott161512
Dubuque154929
Marshall139424
Pottawattamie122723
Story111714
Wapello85032
Muscatine83048
Webster7366
Crawford7213
Sioux6022
Cerro Gordo57917
Tama53929
Warren5341
Jasper45825
Wright4441
Plymouth4438
Louisa37814
Dickinson3754
Clinton3213
Washington28810
Hamilton2411
Boone2312
Franklin2256
Bremer1927
Clarke1883
Carroll1821
Emmet1812
Clay1711
Shelby1691
Hardin1660
Marion1550
Allamakee1504
Poweshiek1508
Benton1451
Jackson1411
Des Moines1392
Mahaska13617
Floyd1312
Guthrie1285
Jones1242
Cedar1201
Hancock1172
Butler1152
Buchanan1141
Henry1143
Pocahontas1141
Lyon1060
Madison1052
Clayton993
Cherokee981
Harrison980
Lee973
Taylor930
Humboldt921
Delaware911
Iowa901
Monona900
Winneshiek861
Mills830
Calhoun822
Fayette810
Sac810
Palo Alto800
Kossuth780
Osceola780
Jefferson770
Winnebago770
Mitchell760
Page760
Grundy741
Union721
Monroe677
Worth610
Chickasaw510
Davis501
Lucas504
Howard490
Cass481
Montgomery453
Appanoose433
Greene380
Fremont350
Van Buren331
Keokuk311
Ida290
Audubon281
Decatur220
Adair210
Ringgold211
Wayne181
Adams160
Unassigned00
Rochester
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 62°
Mason City
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 63°
Albert Lea
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 61°
Austin
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 63°
Charles City
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 63°
Rain returns for Wednesday
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Sean's Weather 8/5

Image

A closer look a the Graham Park testing site

Image

Temporary rental assistance available in Olmsted County

Image

Gold and Silver Prices Going Up

Image

Memorial Bicycle Ride

Image

MSHSL votes to postpone football and volleyball

Image

Rochester Public Schools survey parent opinions about options

Image

Waterloo hands Rochester 13th straight loss

Image

Mason City Fire Department burn training

Image

Coronavirus impact on the 2020 census

Community Events