The second largest Australian bank, Westpac, has agreed a record fine of $ 1.3 billion for violating its anti-money laundering and terrorist financing commitments. If approved by the competent federal court, this settlement will be the largest fine in the Australian economy. Austrac, the government agency that oversees financial transactions, reported this Thursday.
“With today’s agreement, Westpac has admitted that it has circumvented the AML / CTF law more than 23 million times,” said Austrac. “In this way the Australian financial system was exposed to criminal exploitation.”
In certain cases, the bank would have made payments to child pornography makers possible.
CEO Brian Hartzer resigned after this scandal last year. The new CEO, Peter King, issued a statement apologizing for “the bank’s failures”.