The CBA now has to December to file a court defence to the money laundering scandal

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The Commonwealth Bank has been given until December to file a defence against alleged breaches of money-laundering laws.

The Federal Court today ordered the bank to file its defence by December 15 and for AUSTRAC, Australia’s financial intelligence and regulatory agency, to file a response by March 16, 2018.

The matter has been listed for a further directions hearing on April 2, 2018.

A short time ago, Commonwealth shares were down 2.1% to $73.89.

The CBA is accused of breaching the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF) Act over combined cash deposits of $624.7 million.

The civil proceedings follow an investigation by AUSTRAC into the use of intelligent deposit machines which, it is claimed, became the outlet of choice for criminal syndicates to shift offshore cash from drug deals.

Corporate regulator ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) has also confirmed it is investigating the bank over its conduct in the money laundering scandal.

And the banking regulator, APRA (Australian Prudential Regulation Authority) is investigating governance, culture and accountability at Australia’s biggest company.

A committee of the board of directors was set up earlier this month to oversee the bank’s response to AUSTRAC’s statement of claim. The committee members: Mary Padbury, bank chair Catherine Livingstone, Brian Long and Shirish Apte.

The bank earlier today announced a boardroom clean-out, with two directors, both audit committee members overseeing risk and compliance, standing down.

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