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Westpac Provisions $900m for Record AML Fine

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Australian bank Westpac has reportedly set aside $900 million to cover its “potential liability” in what could be the biggest corporate fine in Australia’s history, following accusations by AUSTRAC (the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, a government financial intelligence unit set up to combat financial crime) of 23 million breaches of AML and counter terrorism finance laws, including the failure to properly monitor transactions arguably related to child exploitation in South-East Asia. The bank is also believed to have set aside $160 million to finance its response plan, including the scaling up of its financial crimes investigation unit. The case remains before the Australian courts.

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