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  • Commonwealth Bank (CBA) is no longer being pursued by government watchdog ASIC, regarding the bank’s infamous money laundering scandal 
  • The scandal first came to light in 2017, when the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) brought anti-money laundering charges against CBA
  • AUSTRAC claimed CBA’s ATMs had been used by numerous groups, including drug and firearm dealers, to illegally launder money, which was then improperly filed through the government’s regulatory procedures
  • Despite CBA ultimately admitting to many of the charges in 2018, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has now concluded its investigation into the public disclosures surrounding the charges and is not pursuing any enforcement actions 
  • While the ASIC investigation is now complete, CBA still faces an ongoing class action brought against it by shareholders
  • Commonwealth Bank closed 1.14 per cent in the red for $69.65 per share 

Commonwealth Bank (CBA) is no longer being pursued by the government watchdog ASIC, regarding the bank’s infamous money laundering scandal.

After trading closed on Wednesday, CBA was informed that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) had concluded its follow-up investigation into the scandal, which first came to light in 2017.

At the time, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) claimed numerous individuals, including drug and firearm dealers, had been using CBA’s ATMs to illegally launder money, which was then incorrectly filed through the government’s regulatory procedures.

Despite CBA ultimately admitting to many of the charges and paying a record breaking $700 million fine in 2018, ASIC will not pursue any enforcement actions relating to the public discloser of those matters.  ASIC also concluded that CBA’s directors and officers adequately complied with the parameters of Australia’s Corporations Act.

While the ASIC investigation has now concluded, CBA still faces an ongoing class action lawsuit brought against it by shareholders.

When news of the money laundering scandal first reached the public three years ago, it triggered a rapid share sell-off, dropping CBA’s share price by more than 12 per cent in the subsequent weeks. As a result, shareholders are now claiming CBA’s actions amount to misleading and deceptive conduct, though case has yet to be settled.

AUTRAC has since filed similar allegations against another of Australia’s banking institution Westpac (WBC), which recently admitted to many of the charges. Westpac laid the blame on human error, citing poor judgement and failures in its compliance and risk system.

Commonwealth Bank closed 1.14 per cent in the red for $69.65 per share. 

CBA by the numbers
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