Only a month after Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) filed a lawsuit against the Westpac Banking Corporation, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) accused the bank of violating the anti-money laundering law of the country 23 million times. The organization is set to focus its investigation on laws violated by the bank and to impose a capital increase of $500 million to cover its increased operational risk profile.
The bank already admitted most of the claims by the Financial regulators. AUSTRAC, during investigation, realized that deficiencies in its services resulted in the violation of Australia’s AML/CTF Act of 2006. As noted by Sydney Morning Herald, some of the 23 million AML violations has allegedly enhanced child exploitation.
The growth of cryptocurrencies in Australia, particularly, bitcoin cash, facilitated the introduction strict regulations last year, which include registration of digital assets with the watchdog, user information verification, and compliance with government AML/CFT obligations. This year, the conventional banks in the country have violated many of these regulations which resulted in scandals.