Australia is leading the world in the fight against terrorism financing and money laundering with the unveiling today of a powerful new public and private sector alliance.
The Fintel Alliance already comprises 19 partners including Australia's financial intelligence agency AUSTRAC, the Australian Federal Police, New South Wales Police, the Australian Tax Office, the four big banks, Western Union and PayPal.
This is the first true public-private partnership of its kind in the world, and brings together under the one roof the collective knowledge and resources of Government and industry.
The Alliance will identify, target, disrupt and deter money laundering and terrorism financing in a way never-seen-before in the world. It has its sights firmly set on terror financiers and gangs who deal in proceeds of crime, as well as white-collar criminals who think their crimes are victimless.
The Alliance has established an Operations Hub where Government and industry intelligence analysts will work side by side on joint operational projects, sharing information in near real time.
Three projects already underway include examining the Panama Papers, identifying and profiling online money mules and enhancing the use of Australian Cyber Online Reporting Network data.
The Alliance has also established an Innovation Hub to provide a collaborative approach to design and test financial products, and explore ways to target emerging technologies like blockchain.
The Alliance will be underpinned by a ground-breaking Financial Intelligence Analyst Course, to train the next generation of analysts across law enforcement, intelligence agencies and businesses.
A pilot of this course will be completed this month, and the first tertiary accredited course will be rolled out later this year, equipping more analysts with expert skills to defend our national security.
Australia is acknowledged as a world leader in combating financial crime. The UK financial Intelligence Unit has joined the Alliance, and AUSTRAC is in discussions with other potential international partners.
This is the beginning of a national and global alliance that will leave nowhere for criminals to hide in the financial system.
Australia faces ever increasing and changing national and international threats; these are persistent, pervasive and have the potential to do great harm to the community, industry and Government.
This is why the Fintel Alliance is so important. The Alliance will help to ensure Australia is the most difficult jurisdiction in the world for organised crime and terrorism financiers to operate.