Westpac Bank Fined $1.3 Billion.

Money laundering, it defines how banking institutions engage with their customers & how international markets operate. Whenever an operator of trustworthy dignity is found money laundering for financial gain, it destabilizes that trust & prompts consumers to question if that banking institution is honourable. That question has been placed onto customers at Westpac Bank in Australia, which has been found to money launder for criminal organizations.

The Australian Transaction, Reports & Analysis Centre has fined Westpac Bank $1.3 Billion. It comes after AUSTRAC located information that Westpac had failed to report millions of international transactions, sustaining more than 19.5 Million. Detailed investigations from AUSTRAC revealed that international transactions were linked to child exploitation & drug trafficking.

Headlines revealing that Westpac Bank is linked to child exploitation & drug trafficking prompted a national backlash in Australia. Executives seemed unnerved by their allegations and apologies for their failings. Considering that Westpac Bank is the second-largest lender & banking institution in Australia, their commitment towards bettering their security should’ve been evident. Executives instead fled to save havens, avoiding Australian Courts, and are subsequently being tracked by law enforcement.

The Fine of $1.3 Billion was approved by the Australian Courts, marking the highest civil penalty that’s ever been awarded in the nation’s history. It should be clarified that AUSTRAC found that the 19.5 Million international transactions that were falsely reported led towards 23 Million breaches of the law. Each law carried a maximum penalty of AUD 21 Million. Collectively, Westpac Bank could’ve sustained a considerably larger fine.

How It Began

The Australian Transaction, Reports & Analysis Centre received warnings that Philippine sex-trafficking rings have connections with Westpac Bank. That information would become national news, with investigative reporters locating direct evidence that alleged paedophiles in the Philippine’s were using the “Westpac Transfer System”.

When the news started to deteriorate Westpac’s reputation, the now Ex-Chairman clarified their commitment towards fixing issues with their transfer system. No promises were made towards eliminating sex-trafficking rings across the world, leading some to wonder if Westpac Bank will repeat their history. Westpac being found in-connection to another sex-trafficking ring after the $1.3 Billion Fine, would prompt AUSTRAC to terminate Westpac’s banking license likely.