Commonwealth Bank of Australia has blamed a three-year coding error in its intelligent deposit machines (IDM) for breaches of anti-money regulations.
The Bank is currently being sued by financial crime regulator Austrac for failing to report suspicious transactions totalling A$624 million.
In a statement, the bank says a software update to its IDM network in 2012 resulted in a coding error which meant that the machines failed to create Threshold Transaction Reports required under AML rules. The glitch went unnoticed and unresolved until its discovery in 2015.
"In an organisation as large as Commonwealth Bank, mistakes can be made," the bank says in a statement. "We know that because we are a big organisation, these mistakes can have significant impact."
CBA says the coding error was responsible for the "vast majority" of the 53,000 violations detailed by Austrac, but adds "we recognise that there are other serious allegations in the claim unrelated to the TTRs".
Austrac's actions have once again drawn attention to the power of the Big Four banks in Australia and their apparent willingness to play fast and loose with the rule-book, leading the political class to call for a far-reaching inquiry and the head of CBA chief Ian Narev.