National Australia Bank, Casino Operators Under Scrutiny
SYDNEY — National Australia Bank and three casino operators may need to pay hefty fines or overhaul their operations after a blitz by the financial crimes watchdog.
The bank, Crown Resorts, SkyCity and Star Entertainment on June 7 revealed watchdog the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre AUSTRAC had serious concerns about their efforts to prevent money laundering and the financing of criminal groups.
The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) is a government agency tasked with making sure criminals cannot exploit the financial system.
Westpac recently fell foul of the watchdog after revelations its lax standards allowed child abuse groups and others to shift money overseas.
The bank paid an AU$1.3 billion ($1.007 billion) fine last year and has other requirements to ensure its meeting legal obligations.
The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) said fines were not being considered for National Australia Bank.
The two have been working to improve the bank’s controls since 2017.
However, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) could force the bank to make sweeping changes to its systems, as it did with Westpac.
NAB boss Ross McEwan said the bank was improving in this area and clearly had more work to do.
Shares were down by 3.02 percent to AU$26.68 ($22.22) at 1525 AEST.
Crown Resorts’ woes continued after the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) widened its investigation of the company to include its Perth casino.
The watchdog has found the Perth venue has potentially serious problems in meeting anti-money laundering obligations.
Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) is already investigating Crown Melbourne for the same reasons.
Royal commissions into Crown’s operations in Victoria and Western Australia continue as usual and the work will flow as it has been going on.
A New South Wales inquiry found Crown allow money laundering and put staff in China in danger of being detained, with the inquiry leading to a lot of questions about the work being done and how it is managed.
Shares were lower by 1.5 percent to AU$12.50 ($9.68).
Sydney casino operator Star Entertainment was told it also has potentially serious problems with its anti-money laundering efforts.
Star said it has not been told what action the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) may take.
Shares were down by 2.27 percent to AU$3.88 ($3.01).
Adelaide casino operator SkyCity Entertainment fielded similar concerns.
Shares were lower by 7.06 percent to $3.13.
(Edited by Vaibhav Vishwanath Pawar and Praveen Pramod Tewari)