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ABA statement on AUSTRAC risk assessment report

6 September 2021

Australia’s banks have strong relationships with law enforcement authorities and regulators like AUSTRAC, and work together to detect, deter and prevent money laundering and other serious crime.

In recent years, Australian Banks have invested millions to improve their monitoring and reporting capabilities as well as hiring thousands of expert additional staff.

AUSTRAC’s banking sector risk assessments report released today is based on inherent risk. It does not consider any bank’s control environment.

  • The level of risk is based on a banks size, other factors include operating across multiple countries and jurisdictions and facilitating large volumes of international fund transfers for a large number of customers
  • The report indicates that the primary criminal threats facing banks are posed by global criminals who seek to use Australia to launder money, fund drug trafficking, tax evasion, frauds and scams.

The banks are continuously reviewing and uplifting their control environments in order to help mitigate the inherent risks noted in the report.

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