Money Laundering and financial crime pose a significant threat to the Australian economy.
Australia and AML/CTF
But, for more than a decade, Australia has refused to complete the second half of its AML/CTF reform, despite repeated promises that it was about to do so.
This has left Australia lagging behind global standards in the developed world when it comes to combating the flow of illicit money – seeing the country ranking alongside the likes of Haiti and Madagascar for having some of the weakest AML rules in the world (despite having the region’s most effective respected financial intelligence unit).
The main issue is Australia’s failure to enact the so called ‘Tranche 2’ AML laws.
After originally being pushed back in the wake of the global financial crisis, Tranche 2 has continued to be delayed for over 15 years, due to governmental changes, differing legislative priorities, intense political lobbying, and fierce resistance by powerful industries impacted by these laws.
These new laws would compel real estate agents, lawyers and accountants (known as ‘Gatekeepers’) to join the global fight against serious and organised financial crime, and report suspicious matters/ transactions.
In the current environment, vast sums of money can be laundered with either the witting or unwitting support from these gatekeeper professions that structure the world’s black money laundromat – leading to the legitimisation of profits from some of the worst crimes imaginable, including human trafficking, illicit drug dealing, arms smuggling, child exploitation and political corruption.
That’s why the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has made it a priority that these Gatekeepers be regulated across jurisdictions.
Australian businesses have undoubtedly become more aware of the need to prevent money laundering in recent years.
That means that the current question facing Parliament with respect to Tranche 2 is: if not now, then when? Taking a proactive approach, aided by assisted compliance, training and education will likely provide benefits to all stakeholders, and most importantly the public at large.
We Can Help
Here at One AML, we can help Australian businesses understand their current AML/CTF obligations, as well as what the Tranche 2 reforms may mean in the future. Get in touch with our highly qualified team today.