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Westpac Admits 23mil Breaches In Money-Laundering Case

SYDNEY: Westpac has formally admitted 23 million breaches of anti-money laundering laws, due to failures in its transaction reporting and record-keeping.

Its “mea culpa” was delivered in Westpac’s defence to an anti-money laundering lawsuit lodged late last year by financial intelligence agency Austrac. 

Westpac lodged its defence with the Federal Court on Friday.

However, the bank has denied Austrac allegations that it did not have a compliant anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing program or that it had failed to carry out regular assessments of its correspondent banks. 

According to the allegations, Westpac failed over five years to report 19.5 million suspicious international funds transfers.

Westpac has indicated that it wants to settle the case. In its most recent accounts, it set aside $900 million to deal with a possible Austrac penalty.

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