Banks: extend anti-money laundering rules to property

The Australian Banking Association, Fintech Australia and Bendigo & Adelaide Bank are among those calling for Australia’s anti-money laundering (AML) regime to be broadened.

Expansion of the regime would see real estate agents, accountants and lawyers come under the same rules as banks, remitters and wagering firms.

Fintech Australia has stated in its submission to a Senate inquiry into the adequacy and efficiency of Australia’s AML-CTF regime that Australia is seen as a “light touch” for criminals seeking to funnel money into the country, and that the cost of extending the regime would be far outweighed by the benefits of bolstering its framework.

From The AFR:

Australian banks and fintechs have backed the expansion of the anti-money laundering regime, saying banks have had to shoulder the burden for too long and further delays could hurt Australia’s international standing and access to capital.

The Australian Banking Association and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank are among those to have outlined broad support for legislation that will have lawyers, accountants and real estate agents come under similar laws as banks, remitters and wagering companies…

Fintech Australia said Australia was considered “a light touch” for crooks looking to funnel money into the country and would remain so for as long as it “keeps the door open for those looking to park potential proceeds of crime in a safehouse”.

It feels like Groundhog Day. Fifteen years ago, the Australian Government agreed to implement the Tranche 2 global AML rules for lawyers, accountants and real estate agents in a bid to prevent laundering of illicit funds, especially into Australian property.

However, these reforms have been continually postponed amid fierce lobbying by shadowy “vested interests” negatively impacted by the reforms. This has led to Australia having the weakest AML rules in the world pertaining to lawyers, accountants and real estate agents:

Australia’s intransigence has seen a conga-line of international authorities – including the Paris-based Financial Action Taskforce (FATF) and Transparency International – deride Australia’s failure to act, which has continually fallen on deaf ears within the federal government.

Accordingly, Australia has been cemented as a money laundering safe haven, with property the go to choice for illicit foreign funds.

I doubt anything will change because our corrupt politico-housing complex.

Unconventional Economist

Comments

    • Australia still cannot compete with the UK on encouraging foreign money laundering. Its the heart of the City of London and UK property advantages.

  1. C'est de la folieMEMBER

    International Federation of Money Launderers and Corruption Beneficiaries
    Press Release
    September 21, 2021
    Geneva

    We and our members would like the Australian Government to extent anti-money laundering exemptions to Australian Real Estate, and we would like to encourage all governments worldwide to follow the fine example of the Australian government.

    We would also like to note that we and our membership think it is boom times ahead for Australian real estate. We recommend Australian real estate to all of our members as a key component of all money laundering activities in our day. In the post-Covid era we anticipate Australian real estate will become an even bigger factor in global regulation avoidance and corruption proceeds laundering dynamics. There has never been a better time to buy.

  2. Maybe the delay is due to members on both sides of politics getting payments from blind trusts over the 15 years since, and, not knowing what the money was specifically for or from, have just categorically attributed this to the ‘go slow’ pile based on its extreme stinkiness. I guess they figure it has a high probability of making most ‘donors’ via this mechanism happy as there are so many fingers in the pie?

  3. Why is this post illustrated with a pile of Renminbi? Are you insinuating something? This is an outrage! You are at risk of hurting feelings.

    /sarc

  4. Jumping jack flash

    Talk about closing the door after the horse has bolted..!
    The problem will soon become all the money flowing back to China as they liquidate, rather than the other way.

  5. Even StevenMEMBER

    So let me get this straight… Effectively the ‘corrupt’ banking industry is calling for anti-money laundering to be extended to property?

    I think MB needs to hand out an integrity award to the banks!

  6. > I doubt anything will change because our corrupt politico-housing complex.

    Then we need to crash it.