26 September 2023

AUSTRAC to make crime pay finance overseas

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The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) has signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with the United Kingdom (UK) to intensify its fight against financial crime.

Chief Executive of AUSTRAC, Nicole Rose said the agreement with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) would enable the two Agencies to enhance engagement on regulatory issues.

Ms Rose said this included exchanging regulatory information, and improving shared understanding of emerging trends, risks, and the compliance of businesses that operated in both the UK and Australia.

She said AUSTRAC had also entered into an MOU with His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

“The MOU will generate opportunities through the exchange of regulatory information to strengthen operational collaboration between the two Agencies, and significantly, could result in joint anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing supervision,” Ms Rose said.

“Strong risk-based supervision is critical to ensuring the effective implementation by industry of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing controls,” she said.

“These MOUs will support improved supervisory practices and tools, and facilitate enhanced monitoring of businesses operating across both jurisdictions.”

Ms Rose said the signing of the MOUs with British regulators was a clear illustration of Australia and the UK’s commitment to working together to combat the global threat of money laundering, which enables a range of serious crimes.

“In our interconnected global environment, criminal and national security threats transcend borders, which is why AUSTRAC is committed to working with international partners to exchange information and pool resources to combat financial crime,” AUSTRAC Chief Executive said.

“Money laundering enables a range of serious crimes to occur, from drug and human trafficking, to terrorism financing,” she said.

“The signing of these two MOUs cements Australia’s long standing commitment to working with valued partners, like FCA and HRMC, to drive behavioural change and uplift capability across industry to create a hostile financial environment for organised crime.”

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