NAB joins Commonwealth in anti-money laundering compliance issues

By Addie Thomes

National Australia Bank (NAB) has admitted to weaknesses in ensuring it is fully compliant with anti-money laundering law, joining Commonwealth Bank as the second major Australian bank to be beset by such problems.

NAB revealed the issue in its latest annual report, something which it is currently investigating internally.

Earlier this year, AUSTRAC filed a civil court proceeding against Commonwealth Bank, claiming misconduct on new fewer than 50,000 separate occasions. In the unlikely event that maximum financial penalties are applied to all charges, it could face a trillion-dollar fine.

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The saga has led to the resignation of Commonwealth’s Ian Narev, who is to step down next year.

However, it does not look as if NAB faces as serious a set of problems at this stage. David Gall, Chief Risk Officer at NAB, said in a statement: “We have anti-money laundering policies and processes in place, and if we find weaknesses in these, we work hard to strengthen and fix them immediately.”

Gall also said that NAB did not have compliance issues with AUSTRAC, contrary to Commonwealth Bank which is accused of failing to report numerous cash transactions to the industry watchdog.

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