Playing by the new rules - Australia’s evolving AML / CTF Landscape

04 May 2021 02:02

The past year has seen significant developments from legislative, regulatory and governance standpoints regarding Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Counter Terrorism Financing (CTF) measures in Australia. These developments have significant ramifications for boards, risk managers and front line staff.

The last 12 months saw AUSTRAC deliver its largest ever fine for AML breaches.

Similarly there has been much discussion around Australia’s legislative protections over the last 12 months. In December 2020, the Australian Government passed the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 (the Amendment), aimed at ramping up Australia’s outdated AML and CTF legislatory framework.

Despite a significant increase in regulatory scrutiny and accountability, cases appear to still slip through the cracks. The seemingly unknowing nature of incidents has flagged the need for a shift in organisational culture, rather than a pure focus on tightening AML and CTF regulations. This recommended cultural shift must start with the board and be embedded at every level of the organisation.

Against this backdrop, the Governance, Risk and Compliance Institute (GRCI) and LexisNexis held the 7th Annual Anti Money Laundering & Financial Crimes Congress, bringing together governance, risk and compliance professionals from a range of organisations, backgrounds and seniority levels. The following report provides an overview of some of the key issues discussed on the day, delivering a detailed summary of the session relating to AUSTRAC’s Tranche 1.5 Rule changes, along with salient points for professionals with involvement in the space of Anti Money Laundering and/or Counter Terrorism Financing.

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