Anti-Money Laundering (AML) in Australia

AML Country Guide / Anti-Money Laundering (AML) in Australia

Overview of AML in Australia

Australia is one of the largest and most developed economies globally and is home to thousands of financial institutions. Those financial institutions have to learn to navigate the Australian legal framework protecting the country's financial system against money laundering threats and terrorist financing.

The Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act, which came into force in 2006, forms the basis of the anti-money laundering regime in Australia. The Act includes a list of specified services for deposit-taking, payroll or currency exchange services. These businesses are known as high-risk institutions that have money laundering risk. AML obligations in Australia require high-risk businesses to apply various controls to their customers. Firms providing any of those services have to register with AUSTRAC and comply with their regulations. That legislation imposes a number of obligations reports on financial institutions, including Threshold Transaction Reports (TTR) and Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR).

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre

Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) was established by the Australian government to combat financial crime. The purpose of The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) organizes financial companies to take action against financial crimes. AUSTRAC works to ensure that all financial corporations operate in compliance with Australia's AML regulations and those of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

AML Requirements for Businesses in Australia

  • Businesses are required to collect customer information and check the correctness of these businesses must make these checks in accordance with the 1988 Privacy Act information. Australia's Customer Data Right got introduced in 2019 and will be applied progressively across all sectors, starting with the banking sector.
  • Australia's AML/CFT Act demands to monitor accounts for suspicious activity that may be linked to money laundering for firms. Monitoring programs must be based on each customer's and businesses' risk level. Companies should monitor suspicious customer transactions and, if necessary, prepare a Suspicious Transaction Report.
  • Businesses in Australia have to comply with financial sanctions imposed by both the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the Australian Government. That means that firms have to screen payments against a list of names and entities provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The DFAT list consolidates both Australian DFAT sanctions and UNSC Sanctions.

  • The AML policy in Australia requires companies to carry out Customer Due Diligence (CDD) checks for new customers. An onboarding check allows the customer to determine the customer's risk level during the onboarding phase. Ongoing monitoring ensures that customer risk levels are detected at the time of change.

How Sanction Scanner Helps

Australia is currently in the process of refining its AML/CFT regulations, a process that is expected to run into 2020. Widely, the changes are intended to make regulations and make it for firms to comply with anti-money laundering in Australia. Sanction Scanner helps AML compliance processes of businesses in Australia. Our end-to-end AML solutions meet companies' AML needs and protect them from AML penalties. You can contact us for information about our AML solutions. 

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