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Enforcement

This morning some media is abuzz with news of an AUD700m settlement between ASIC and Commonwealth Bank of Australia, sometimes known as "CommBank" and sometimes as "CBA". CBA was first out of the stocks with its press release. Then AUSTRAC released the draft Order that will be put before the Court in settlement. What jumped out?

Editorial Staff
BIScom Subsection: 

Australia's Royal Commission into financial services has criticised the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (same word, different meaning) in relation to so-called enforceable undertakings. There is a problem but in part it's caused by factors outside ASIC's control.

Editorial Staff
BIScom Subsection: 

The UK's Financial Conduct Authority has, far too late, waded into the scandal over businesses that offer completely unnecessary, and very costly, services relating to the mis-selling of Personal Protection Insurance. The industry around selling what amounts to little more than form-filling assistance and which has collected in excess of GBP1,000 million, has force-fed advertising and is now ramping up the pressure on those who have not yet made a claim. The FCA has countered with its own advert. It's rubbish and in the wrong place.

Editorial Staff
BIScom Subsection: 

Hardly a day goes by without a report of bad conduct by one of Australia's banks. It's not as if there are many of them and the result is that each of them is in the news for all the wrong reasons on an increasingly frequent basis. This time it's ANZ with a classic of charging fees but providing no service.

Really. How is this different from someone knocking on the door of an elderly couple, telling them there's a hole in their roof and saying "I'll repair it for a price of X" but collecting the money and doing nothing?

Editorial Staff
BIScom Subsection: 

It's going to cost ANZ about AUD5 million to compensate victims of the scheme that operated through the bank's Esanda car finance business. That's just part of what ASIC describes as "a package of regulatory actions against Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ)" But there's an anomaly of the kind that excites our colleagues on the financial crime publications group of PleaseBeInformed. But we got to this one first! Even more, the story looks like a simple management failure but on closer inspection it demonstrates a fundamental lack of attention to the most basic money laundering / terrorist financing KYC/CDD requirements. ASIC may think it's over. AUSTRAC needs to take a look.

Nigel Morris-Cotterill
BIScom Subsection: 

The Australian Financial Services (AFS) Licence of a financial adviser in Brisbane was cancelled yesterday but the announcement was made first thing this morning Sydney time . Today, at least one LinkedIn profile says that the company holds an AFS licence proving that social media and due diligence are not good bedfellows. The case also shows that penalties for failure to comply with orders by regulators to undertake more effective management can have serious repercussions.

Editorial Staff
BIScom Subsection: 

One has to ask what took so long.. after American regulators and prosecutors began attacking European banks for failures in the USA European regulators remained surprisingly reticent about taking action against foreign banks, especially American banks. While it may not be blowback (US banks have long gone their own way in London, as have German and Japanese banks but there have been occasional action against those) it is certainly time that US banks were not treated as a special case. In the latest example, Merrill Lynch has been ordered to pay a penalty that, relative to the scale of the failure and corresponding penalties in the USA, seems relatively small.

Editorial Staff
BIScom Subsection: 

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which also has a regulatory function, has applied a USD3 million civil money penalty against Lone Star National Bank of Pharr, Texas, for failing to properly comply with the requirements of the Bank Secrecy Act - as found in s312 of the USA PATRIOT Act.

Editorial Staff
BIScom Subsection: 

Our sister publication, World Money Laundering Report, has always adopted the view the Deferred Prosecution Agreements are legalised bribery to enable companies and their officers to evade prosecution for crimes committed.

Alun MIlford, General Counsel of the UK's Serious Fraud Office argues, in a speech to the Cambridge Symposium on Economic Crime, 2017, that the DFA is a useful tool, and that the UK version is materially different from the US version on which it is based.

Editorial Staff
BIScom Subsection: 

Australia's superannuation scheme is popularly known as "super" and it has nothing to do with Reggie Perrin although, given the frequent problems with it, it might be the successor to Sunshine Des serts. Now an auditor of self-managed schemes has been banned after it was determined that he had "breached fundamental independence and audit requirements."

Editorial Staff
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