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[Published: Monday June 04 2018]

 Commonwealth Bank  to pay record fine in laundering case

CANBERRA 4 Jun (ANA) - Australia's Commonwealth Bank has said it will pay a $ 700m (£ 400m; $ 530m) fine for breaching anti-money laundering and counter-terror financing laws.

The scandal relates to 53,000 suspect transactions that the bank did not immediately report to authorities.

Last year, Australia's financial intelligence agency accused the lender of "serious and systemic" law breaches.

If a court approves the fine, it will be the largest civil penalty in Australian corporate history.

The bank, Australia's largest lender, said it would also cover A$ 2.5m in legal fees accrued by investigators.

"While not deliberate, we fully appreciate the seriousness of the mistakes we made," chief executive Matt Comyn said on Monday.

Australia's scandal-plagued financial sector is at the centre of a national inquiry into misconduct.

Commonwealth Bank and intelligence agency Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (Austrac) agreed to the fine following court-ordered mediation.

Most of the breaches related to the bank's deposit machines, which could accept up to A$ 20,000 in cash at a time, anonymously if the person depositing was not a Commonwealth customer.

The bank failed to meet deadlines for reporting transactions over the legal threshold of A$ 10,000, according to Austrac.

Commonwealth Bank said the breaches were due to a coding error, which meant the machines failed to automatically report the transactions.(ANA)
FA/ANA/4 June 2018---------


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