How launderers exploit Australia’s lax real estate laws to infiltrate banks

International money launderers are exploiting Australia’s continuing failure to pass “Tranche 2” laws, which has allowed them to defeat banks’ anti-crime controls and move wholesale volumes of criminal money through the financial system.

Recent case studies have shown that launderers operating from overseas have developed new, sophisticated laundering typologies in response to COVID-19 that can circumvent the tougher compliance culture across Australia’s banks.

The major civil enforcement actions from Australia’s anti money laundering (AML) agency have triggered an uplift in financial crime compliance investment and capability across the banking sector. This hardening of the financial system among the regulated population has driven sophisticated financial criminals to exploit unregulated professions that act as a “backdoor”, or gateway, into the legitimate economy.

International crime groups have identified Australia’s lack of regulation for designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBPs) as a major vulnerability that provides an opportunity for them to launder criminal funds.

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This article first appeared on Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence.

Nathan Lynch is an experienced writer, public speaker, manager and technology enthusiast in the field of financial regulation and risk management. At Thomson Reuters, Nathan leads a team of experts who provide breaking news, deep analysis and practical guidance to risk practitioners in the global financial services sector.
Nathan manages Thomson Reuters’ award-winning Regulatory Intelligence team across the Asia-Pacific region, tracking developments in financial services law, regulation, financial crime and risk management.
Nathan has been involved in building innovative, tech-based businesses in the financial services “regtech” sector — including Complinet Australia and the Thomson Reuters Risk business.

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