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CBA says no intent behind alleged breaches

Stuart Condie  |  09 Aug 2017Text size  Decrease  Increase  |  

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SYDNEY - [AAP] Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA) "has no reason to believe" there was any intent or commercial incentive behind its alleged breaches of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws.

"The board notes that it has no reason to believe that the allegations arose from deliberate or unethical behaviour, or any commercial motive," CBA chairman Catherine Livingstone said on Wednesday.

Regulator AUSTRAC--the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre--alleges CBA failed to provide on-time reports for more than 53,500 cash transactions of $10,000 or more through its Intelligent Deposit Machines between November 2012 and September 2015.

CBA, which has already blamed a coding error, on Wednesday said a sub-committee of four directors will oversee the bank's response to the civil proceedings launched by AUSTRAC in Federal Court.

Australia's largest bank said that, since it discovered and fixed the error in 2015, it has changed oversight of financial crimes compliance, recruited more than 50 specialists, and upgraded monitoring.

"Commonwealth Bank takes its legal and regulatory obligations very seriously, including its role in working with AUSTRAC, other agencies and law enforcement bodies, to fight crime," Ms Livingstone said.

"It is committed to maintaining a strong, co-operative working relationship with AUSTRAC."

CBA on Tuesday slashed short-term bonuses for chief executive Ian Narev and his executives in response to the allegations.

"The board's actions reflect the focus we are taking on improving the trust among people, customers, businesses and communities that the bank exists to serve," Ms Livingstone said.

 

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