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Dodgy Bank Used By Distributors Facing New Money Laundering Claims

Westpac’s anti-money laundering drama has taken a new turn with authorities now finding several large undisclosed transfers to questionable accounts overseas.

Westpac is used by several suppliers whose overseas transfers are now being probed by AUSTRAC.

The bank that has developed a shocking reputation among its customers during COVID-19 with long-time customers failing to get a call backs despite their claims that “We are here to help business” during the lockdown.

One customer who has no debt and has banked with Westpac for over 30 years told ChannelNews that they are still waiting for a call back despite six calls to the bank over a two-month period.

The dodgy bank has been under investigation by AUSTRAC who is believed to have found 365,000 “incomplete or inaccurate” reports to AUSTRAC about large funds transfers out of Australia.

In addition, the bank has found 175,000 transactions that were not reported to AUSTRAC at all, around twice as many as initially disclosed in May.

This is not the first time that the bank has fallen foul of laws and processes designed to stop illegal money laundering especially to overseas accounts which are favoured by criminal groups.

The bank has also been linked with potential child exploitation that the latest exposure of questionable activities by NSW’s first bank is 23 times larger than initially identified by AUSTRAC in its original bombshell claim last November.

Westpac told the ASX on Tuesday morning the incomplete ‘threshold transaction reports’, which require AUSTRAC to be notified when more than $10,000 is sent in or out of the country, were found following its further investigations and after a notice from AUSTRAC. Westpac also suggested the ultimate number of failed reports might still go higher.

Each of the new unreported transactions, or incomplete reports, could amount to an additional, separate breach of the strict anti-money laundering law, however, the bank said this was not necessarily the case.

“A significant proportion of the potential reporting issues relate to a range of complex scenarios where the legislation requires Westpac to exercise judgment on how multiple transactions may be aggregated and whether a threshold transaction has actually occurred,” Westpac said in a one page release.

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