Australia will strengthen its fight against money laundering and terrorism financing through the introduction of a host of new provisions to the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act (AML/CTF) this December.
The new provisions to the Act – which will be implemented in conjunction with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) – will help financial institutions identify, mitigate and manage money laundering and terrorist financing risks. Further provisions are also in the pipeline for the following 12-18 months.
CEO of AUSTRAC Neil Jensen told Mortgage Business that a comprehensive reform program has been developed to assist and support entities – including brokers, lenders and other related mortgage institutions – meet the requirements of the legislation.
Under the new changes, lenders must take greater responsibility to support AML/CTF legislation through ensuring that all intermediaries meet the new requirements and have received the correct accreditation.
Phil Naylor, CEO of the MFAA, is confident that broker channels will be ready for the December deadline.
“The MFAA has been working with a lenders’ committee as well as Ernst & Young to develop a training program that will be available to brokers throughout November – leading up to the final date in December,” said Naylor.
While the new legislation is broadly welcomed, sectors such as the credit unions and mutuals have some concerns over the new terms, costs and applications.
“The mutual banking sector has played a constructive role along with others to shape the new framework,” said a spokesperson from Abacus, the industry body for Australian credit unions and mutual building societies.
“We remain concerned though that the new laws could expose reporting entities to major systems costs, and consumers to detailed monitoring in their daily banking activities.”