Westpac today filed its defence with the Federal Court in relation to civil proceedings brought by AUSTRAC on 20 November 2019 regarding alleged contraventions of its obligations under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act.
Westpac accepts the gravity of the issues raised by the AUSTRAC claim and has made a large number of admissions in its response to the Statement of Claim. These admissions include:
the non-reporting of IFTIs and, associated tracing information failures;
record keeping failures;
ongoing customer due diligence failures; and
failures regarding certain correspondent banking obligations.
The defence also provides some explanation and clarity around a number of the allegations, for example about the nature of the transaction monitoring and correspondent banking assessments Westpac carried out at the time.
Westpac and AUSTRAC continue to engage constructively and are discussing a Statement of Agreed Facts and Admissions.
Westpac acknowledges that financial crime is a serious threat to society and is determined to continue to lift its standards and meet its anti-money laundering and other financial crime obligations.