The CBA money laundering case has links to potential terrorism financing

Photo: Torsten Blackwood/AFP/Getty Images

The money laundering case against the Commonwealth Bank includes potential financing of terrorism, a federal parliamentary committee was told today.

Peter Clark, acting CEO of AUSTRAC, the financial intelligence and regulatory agency, says the statement of claim against CBA has a small number of matters relating to terrorism financing.

The bank was earlier this month taken to the Federal Court accused of breaches of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF) Act over combined cash deposits of $624.7 million.

“Six of those (in the transactions listed in the statement of claims) relate to cash transactions by five customers in whom the bank has assessed a potential link to terrorism or terrorism financing,” Clark told the Senate Estimates Committee.

AUSTRAC alleges more than 53,700 contraventions of anti-money laundering laws and says the Commonwealth didn’t take steps to assess the risks of intelligent deposit machines, or ATMs, until mid-2015, three years after they were introduced.

The Commonwealth says the issue began after an unrelated software update to the ATMs in late 2012.

A coding error meant the ATMs did not create reports when deposit amounts exceeded $10,000, the level at which transactions need to be reported to authorities.

Last week the bank reported a 4.6% increase in full year cash profit to $9.88 billion and a 7.6% surge in net profit after tax to $9.93 billion.

And this week the Commonwealth announced that its CEO Ian Narev will leave next year.

The bank’s board of directors last week axed short term bonuses for Narev and his senior executives.