CANBERRA, AAP – Australia’s financial crimes watchdog has identified compliance concerns at one of the nation’s big four banks, the National Australia Bank.
NAB has been informed it has been referred to AUSTRAC’s enforcement team on concerns surrounding its compliance with the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws.
NAB CEO Ross McEwan said the bank would continue to cooperate with AUSTRAC in its investigations.
“NAB takes its financial crime obligations seriously,” he said in a statement.
“We are very aware that we need to further improve our performance in relation to these matters. We have been working to improve and clearly have more to do.”
NAB received a letter dated June 4 from AUSTRAC saying that there is “potential serious and ongoing non-compliance” with customer identification procedures and ongoing customer due diligence and compliance.
AUSTRAC has not made any decision about whether or not enforcement action would be taken, saying at this stage it is not considering civil penalty proceedings.
This decision is “reflective of the work undertaken” by NAB to date, it says.
Since June 2017, NAB has invested about $800 million as part of a multi-year program to uplift its financial crime and fraud controls and has more than 1200 people dedicated to managing financial crime risks.
“NAB has an important role in monitoring and reporting suspicious activity and keeping Australia’s financial system, our bank and our customers safe,” Mr McEwan said.
“It is a key priority for everyone at NAB to uplift our financial crime capabilities, minimise risk to customers and the bank, and improve operational performance.”