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NAB facing probe over money laundering compliance concerns


The National Australia Bank has been warned that Austrac has serious concerns relating to the bank’s compliance with anti-money laundering and counter terrorism laws.

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A similar warning was issued to SkyCity’s Adelaide casino and Star Entertainment’s Sydney Casino.

The NAB advised the market this morning that Austrac had informed it that there was a “potential serious and ongoing non-compliance” with customer identification procedures” as well as ongoing customer due dilligence and compliance issues.

A formal investigation by Austrac has started. It follows a fine issued against Westpac last year for $1.3 billion in relation to money laundering.

NAB had, since June 2017, invested about $800 million into compliance and had 1200 people dedicated to managing financial crime risks.

The NAB said a letter from Austrac stated that no decision had been made on whether enforcement action would be taken against the bank.

“Austrac stated that, at this stage, it is not considering civil penalty proceedings and that this decision is reflective of the work undertaken by NAB to date,” the bank said.

It said that it had been in “regular engagement” with Austrac over a long period of time to report issues and also keep Austrac informed of progress made by the bank in its compliance.

NAB chief executive Ross McEwan said the bank would continue to co-operate.

“NAB takes its financial crime obligations seriously,” McEwan said.

“We are aware that we need to further improve our performance in relation to these matters. We have been working to improve and clearly have more to do.

“NAB has an important role in monitoring and reporting suspicious activity and keeping Australia’s financial system, our bank and our customers safe.”




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