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Westpac allegations ‘appalling’: Lowe

Lachlan Maddock
— 1 minute read

RBA Governor Philip Lowe has called on Westpac to raise its standards as other banks scramble to avoid the same fate.

“We demand very high standards from our financial institutions and it’s right we demand high standards,” Governor Lowe told the Annual Australian Business Economists dinner. 

“And it’s right we expect those standards to be met. And when they’re not met, there needs to be accountability.”

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Mr Lowe called the allegations “completely unacceptable” and said that he hoped investigations by APRA and AUSTRAC would shed more light on how and why the breaches occurred.

The comments come as other banks scramble to assure shareholders that they aren’t at risk of similar action. 

ANZ released a statement on Wednesday saying they were not aware of any impending litigation by AUSTRAC.

“Given recent issues identified by AUSTRAC within the industry, we have been reviewing the systems and processes we use to transfer money to ensure we are reporting the information required by regulators,” ANZ chief risk officer Kevin Corbally said in a media statement.

“While the review is ongoing, it has found no material issues to date.”

In March 2017, ANZ also joined the Fintel Alliance, a public-private partnership led by AUSTRAC to combat financial crime.

“Protecting the Australian banking system from criminal use is one of our most important roles and one all of our people are trained in and take incredibly seriously,” Mr Corbally said. 

“ANZ [has] been working with AUSTRAC, law enforcement and the broader industry to detect, prevent and disrupt serious financial crimes. This includes money laundering, terrorism, human trafficking, tax evasion and child exploitation.”

 

Westpac allegations ‘appalling’: Lowe
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